Articles | Volume 21, issue 2
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, Dennis Grabow, Christina Beimforde, Vincent Perrichot, Jouko Rikkinen, Simona Saint Martin, Volker Thiel, and Leyla J. Seyfullah

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Cited articles

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Coleman, C. O.: Aquatic amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae) in three pieces of Baltic amber, Org. Divers. Evol., 4, 119–122,, 2004. 
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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,, 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,, 2009a. 
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.