Geological Age : Cretaceous
Age In Millions Of Years: 65 to 135 Mllion Years Old
Location Collected From: Brown Coal Measures. Yallourn, Victoria, Australia
Size Of Overall Specimen: 8.0 x 6.8 x 4.7 cm
Item # EA7661
Rare Australian, beautifully layered amber with tan, cream and orange tones and a dark grey brown crush, the amber is natural and somewhat brittle.
This amber was deposited in the Turonian Flaxman and Waarre formations of the Upper Cretaceous Sherbrook Group.
The amber was collected from the Brown Coal measures, part of the Otway Ranges, at Yallourn, in the 1970’s.
The Turonian amber collected from the Otway Basin represents the oldest amber occurrence from Australia and the southern-most occurrence from Gondwana.
The presence of abundant particulate debris and wind-transported spores in the absence of aquatic organisms suggests that the Otway amber solidified subaerially.
Orange, dark orange and red ambers are particularly rich in wind-transported debris and are generally inferred to have formed on tree trunks, whereas yellow amber is devoid of particulate debris and is inferred to have formed on upper tree branches
Although oxidation is known to darken the outer surface of amber and accounts for some of the colour variation observed in the Otway Basin, most colours are associated with specific assemblages of inclusions, which, in turn, is attributed to resin solidification at different levels on or adjacent to trees.
Amber is the popular name for fossilized resin of botanical origin.
The proper scientific terminology is fossil resin, but we will use the terms amber and fossil resin interchangeably.
The word amber also denotes a golden color that amber predominately reflects (recall that when human eyes see color, it is actually the portion of the visible light spectrum that an object reflects that is detected). In fact, amber reflects many frequencies of light, including red, green and blue that together constitutes the entire visible spectrum.
Archeological findings show that amber was one of the first materials prehistoric humans used for ornamentation, with instances dating back as far as 30,000 years. Use of fossil resin for jewelry and other decoration continues unabated, and amber is often considered as a gemstone.
Amber is also valued for its botanical and animal inclusions that are trapped by the sticky resin as it flows as sap, which is also organic.
Of course, other life is captured including microscopic bacteria that often produce gas bubbles, and various fungi. Both the botanical and animal inclusions not only add beauty, but also are of potential scientific value in the study of taxonomy and evolution.
Animal inclusions are usually invertebrates, specifically arthropods, and only extremely rarely a vertebrate such as a tiny lizard.
Fossil resin inclusions are predominately insects, which should be no surprise since botanical resin is an evolutionary adaptation of plants that is, in part, for protection against insects.