amber inclusion archive

Pterosaurs in amber research

The original myth of the pterosaur is over 2 thousand years old with hill tribes collecting ambers from numerous locations deep in Hukawng valley. The actual tract of amber runs all the way from Hukawng in Kachin state a hop across from the Khamti mining region along the Chung Wa river of Sagaing division and onto Hti Lin in Magway division Central Myanmar.

Hti Lin amber

does have very strange inclusions but we do not select any of them for potential research. Although there are very thought provoking inculsions in this amber we find most of them to invoke paredolia and although there can be interesting shapes and symmetry the state of the amber and preservation we find leave alot to be desired when compared to ambers from many of the Hukawng mines. Our main adversity towards Hti Lin ambers comes from firstly it is difficult to ever find very glassy high transparency amber and then it seems very often as if the inclusions have 'melted' in the amber which leaves one wondering if the locale on the plate boundaries was subjected to geothermal energy to cause this effect, another strange indicator is that the gas bubbles are flattened which although can create some diamond like sparkling effects it also raises our suspicions of geological pressure perhaps affecting the amber, if scientific studies on the easier locations to study are more complete and there is a better understanding of amber inclusions then of course it would be interesting to learn about all the inclusions it contains.

Khamti amber

is popular due to plentiful easily mined volumes and the wonderfully multi-toned ambers. Although popular we have found this amber to be more brittle than Hukawng amber and for us most importantly the majority of bird specimens in Khamti amber that we examined seemed to be more modern feather types than the enantiornitheans that could be found in Kachin amber, indeed other than feathery friends Khamti amber has never shown the range of tetrapods found in Kachin state, although we do not collect Khamti amber we do continue to monitor and examine any tetrapod finds reported by the miners there.

Hukawng amber

- so far all of our research into pterosaurs and enantiornitheans in amber is based on samples sourced in the Hukawng valley; Warabaw Amber mine, Zibeegone amber mine Noije bum amber mine also known as Amba Moh are popular mining areas.

For several reasons many of the best complete animals in amber never appear in amber markets and this is partially due to the fact that if the amber is to be large enough to hold a large animal then it must be a very large piece of amber. The largest publically accepted Hukawng amber is at the National Gem Museum in Naypidaw the capital of Myanmar and weighs just over 99 kilogrammes.

The sizes expected varies greatly with both location and depth, there are what are known as redeposited ambers and there are ambers fossilized and intact with their fossil trees and very wide seams have been found 4inches to 12inches thick and upto 10 metres long and such seams must be carefully extracted and must be broken in order to take out of the mine shafts. Some amazing amber miners that came from Mogok city to the Hukawng vallery built bigger safer tunnels and went to greater depths.

Looking at the rough ambers still in their skin or with just a quick wash with water and already we can start to have an idea of what part of the tree and in what sort of weather the amber was formed.

Root Amber

Of course animals could be anywhere in the amber, probably a very common place for animals to be or to be dead is at the bottom of a tree, the pools of amber at the bottom of the amber tree - a turbid mad swirling amber with Van Gogh like madness in them, if there were animals of any sort present it would be very difficult to confirm it without bringing it back to the lab for a ct scan. If one does happen to spot some discerning features the inclusion itself is more likely to be a flattened variety sometimes referred to as a pancake fossil or else it is only visible with strong illumination.

Trunk amber

The amber that forms on the tree trunk from the roots upwards for the first couple of meters is then commonly dirty but with milder cloudiness and higher transparency than the root amber, it also contains the greatest species variety and highest chances of finding species interaction. Lizards and scorpions are common in this amber but birds and pterosaurs are very rare with the exception of the odd 'feather'.

Crown amber

Moving higher in the tree the amber becomes much cleaner and glassier, less cloudy and less inclusions, many collectors may like a few inclusions with social interactions in a piece but if the amber becomes too overcrowded with organic debris it can be less desirable. Higher in the tree there are far less lizards scorpions spiders and flies but there are still ants and more things like pitcher plants and large camoflage insects and plants, camouflage creatures are amongst the most commonly misidentified inclusions in amber and can come in sizes of several inches these incredible insects in amber include stick insects, leaf insects and a variety of mantis.The crown amber types contain not only the top trunk amber, branch amber, amber 'staligtites' and the pools that occur where the branch attaches to the trunk but lead us to our most sought after type of amber for volant research and that is....

Hollows amber

of all the amber formed by a tree this is one of the hardest types to find, the mining of such amber requires a great deal of extra efforts and is ideally done in deep pits. Often this amber is very glassy, very transparent, very clean and very hard. The amber in tree hollows high in the tree were often flooded with amber that had very minimal plant dyes communicated via bugs, insects are very very rare in hollows amber and indeed it seems that the occupants of the hollows very probably eating any bug that comes near the hollow, it seems like only things like large centipedes ever consider entering the hollow, now if luckily the hollow was flooded with amber perhaps at night whilst the occupants were out hunting then a very lovely pool of amber would be trapped to one day perhaps become a beautiful Buddha carving, if however the occupants were sleeping during in the day when a strong sun created a rapid heavy amber flow entering their hollow as they entombed as a family. When occupants cloud the hollows amber then of course it cannot be used to make a carving as the inclusions could easily cause the amber to fracture and break, if it was a large family then there could be a confusing mass of fat feathers and bone making a seemingly meaningless mess in the amber. Now if there were a sparsely populated hollow when the amber entered then there would be our perfect chance to find the elusive 3 dimensional incredible preservation "L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo" a bird with crystal plumage not a pancake squashed bird in dirty root amber, not a partial specimen like the pterosaur head in amber. Hollows amber is the hardest to mine, it can take considerable time to extract without damaging the amber so it is not the type of amber collected by guerilla miners to be shown in local markets therefore we contacted government managed professional pit mines and also Johnny Sanaung the first modern day miner to discover cretaceous birds, crabs, frogs etc in amber.

Johnny Sanaung the first modern day miner to discover cretaceous birds, crabs, frogs etc in amber

Johnny Sanaung

has probably discovered more species of insect plant and tetrapod than all amber scientists out together today because still today hundreds of Johnny's discoveries have yet to be described and published in the English language and still today many of the best hunters of extreme amber are Johnny's students. Many scientists from around the world have flown to Myanmar and had the pleasure to meet Johnny or some of his students. Johnny had worked for a Canadian gold mining company when young and the experience certainly helped and the gold mines were located not so far from the amber mines. I found it quite embarrassing, very funny and quite eye-opening to learn of the various bumbling efforts of Western scientists (videos of these will be made available in our media section).

Around 20 years ago Johnny had shown cretaceous bird feathers to scientists who need not be named, they had scoffed at these leaves with ignorance and it would take another decade before Western scientists slowly learnt that a leaf and a leaf insect and a feather might look similar to them without powerful equipment to compensate for their poor eyesight and understanding and that one should not judge an amber inclusion in a blase fashion as nature is very amazing playing many tricks on the eyes of those unacustomed with the plethora of jungle fauna and flora. Needless to say I paid close attention to all of Johnny's lessons and ingenious simple techniques to help check and verify amber origins and inclusion liklihoods as well as safety measures to be taken to avoid the 1008 traps and tricks that await one entering a chaotic amber mining or marketing area, as a curious bonus I learnt about many many strange mistakes made by unsuspecting scientists and I am lucky to have learnt the easier way, some misunderstandings are so complex if people studying amber for decades have made mistakes. Although he never recieves credit from any scientist Johnny Sanaung is indeed very famous amongst true amber lovers who know that he is the actual person that discovered hundreds of new creatures that are now published as media sensationalism and doctored dramatisations of these discoveries.

large Pterosaur in amber

pterossauro em âmbar pterosaur ni Amber PTEROSAUR NA AMBER PTEROSAUR IN AMBER פּטעראָסאַור אין בורשטין pterosaur mewn ambr pterosaur trong hổ phách امبر میں پتروساس ПЕРЕХОДА В ЯНТАРЕ 앰버에있는 범인 アンペア PTEROSAUR I AMBER एम्बर में पेंटोसॉर פטרוזאור בענבר PTEROSAUR EN AMBRE 龙之王 龍之王 มังกรในอำพัน ፖርዮሰርቶ በበርበሪ التيروصور، إلى داخل، العنبر pterosaur në qelibar