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Fossil Record A palaeontological open-access journal of the Museum für Naturkunde
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Amber is fossilized resin and so has a terrestrial source; however, very rarely have marine microorganisms been reported, and only in a few amber pieces. We aim to understand how this rare phenomenon could be possible. Several different mechanisms were proposed, and we then tested the wind-blown idea via our experiments on resin-rich forests on the coast of New Caledonia. These forests encompass the best model for the Cretaceous ambers that contain these marine microorganisms.
FR | Articles | Volume 21, issue 2
Foss. Rec., 21, 213–221, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-21-213-2018
Foss. Rec., 21, 213–221, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-21-213-2018

Research article 29 Aug 2018

Research article | 29 Aug 2018

Marine microorganisms as amber inclusions: insights from coastal forests of New Caledonia

Alexander R. Schmidt et al.

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Cited articles

Cadée, G. C.: Eolian transport and left/right sorting of Mya shells (Mollusca, Bivalvia), Palaois, 7, 198–202, 1992. 
Coleman, C. O.: Aquatic amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae) in three pieces of Baltic amber, Org. Divers. Evol., 4, 119–122, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ode.2004.01.003, 2004. 
Galippe, V.: Recherches sur la résistance des microzymas à l'action du temps et sur leur survivance dans l'ambre, Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris, 170, 856–858, 1920. 
Girard, V., Schmidt A. R., Saint Martin, S., Struwe, S., Perrichot, V., Saint Martin, J.-P., Grosheny, D., Breton, G., and Néraudeau, D.: Evidence for marine microfossils from amber, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 105, 17426–17429, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0804980105, 2008. 
Girard, V., Néraudeau, D., Breton, G., Saint Martin, S., and Saint Martin, J.-P.: Contamination of amber samples by recent microorganisms and remediation evidenced by Mid-Cretaceous amber of France, Geomicrobiol. J., 26, 121–30, https://doi.org/10.1080/01490450802599268, 2009a. 
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Short summary
Amber is fossilized resin and so has a terrestrial source; however, very rarely have marine microorganisms been reported, and only in a few amber pieces. We aim to understand how this rare phenomenon could be possible. Several different mechanisms were proposed, and we then tested the wind-blown idea via our experiments on resin-rich forests on the coast of New Caledonia. These forests encompass the best model for the Cretaceous ambers that contain these marine microorganisms.
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