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A sea creature that lived 99 million years ago has been found preserved in amber in an ultra-rare finding.
The fossil, found in northern Myanmar, is the first ever known example of an ammonite to be trapped in amber - hardened tree resin.
Amber - Creatures - Hardens
Amber normally encases and immortalises forest-dwelling creatures as it captures them, renders them unable to escape and then hardens.
It is thought the amber, which is also home to various land-dwelling organisms, formed on a shell-riddled beach close to resin-producing trees.
Mm - Mm - Chunk - Hosts - Range
The 33 mm long, 9.5 mm wide, 29 mm high chunk of amber hosts a range of different organisms from the world during the Cenomanian age.
Professor Wang Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) reported the find.
Plethora - Organisms - Animals - Study - Claims
The plethora of organisms includes at least 40 individual animals, the study claims.
Of the terrestrial fauna found in the amber, mites are the most abundant.
Researchers - Study - Resin - Inclusions - Organisms
The researchers write in the study: 'Amber is fossilised tree resin, and inclusions usually comprise terrestrial and, rarely, aquatic organisms. Marine fossils are extremely rare in Cretaceous and Cenozoic ambers.'
But the menagerie also included spiders, millipedes, cockroaches, beetles, flies and wasps, most of which would have lived on the forest floor.
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