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Nature. 2006 Dec 14;444(7121):835.

A microworld in Triassic amber.

Author information

  • 1Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany. alexander.schmidt@museum.hu-berlin.de

Abstract

Amber provides an effective medium for conservation of soft-bodied microorganisms, but finds older than 135 million years are very rare and have not so far contained any microbial inclusions. Here we describe 220-million-year-old droplets of amber containing bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoans that are assignable to extant genera. These inclusions provide insight into the evolution and palaeoecology of Lower Mesozoic microorganisms: it seems that the basal levels of food webs of terrestrial communities (biocoenoses) have undergone little or no morphological change from the Triassic to the Recent.

PMID:
17167469
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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