Prehistoric flower found preserved in amber

Prehistoric flower found preserved in amber
CREDIT: Oregon State University

A FLOWER from the time of the dinosaurs, approximately 100 million years ago, has been found preserved in amber.  

The flower, named Valviloculus pleristaminis, is reported to look like a cross between a Scottish thistle and an opium pod and still contains pollen.


It became stuck in the sap of a tropical tree that hardened into what is known as Burmese amber, an excellent substance for preserving finer details of plants and animals, as it stops them from rot and dries them.

Lead author Professor George Poinar Jr., of Oregon State University, said: “This isn’t quite a Christmas flower but it is a beauty – especially considering it was part of a forest that existed 100 million years ago.”

Professor Poinar is an international expert in using plant and animal life forms preserved in amber to learn more about the distant past.

He said: “The male flower is tiny, about two millimeters across, but it has some 50 stamens arranged like a spiral, with anthers pointing toward the sky. Despite being so small, the detail still remaining is amazing. Our specimen was probably part of a cluster on the plant that contained many similar flowers, some possibly female.”

The land on which this individual specimen grew is now part of modern day Myanmar in southeast Asia.

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Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics.Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.


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