Take a Look at the Fossilized Flower Preserved in Amber

In 1872, scientists examined a large amber flower preserved from a Russian mine. They found it to be an endangered evergreen plant called Stewartia kowalewskii. Then, for 150 years, the immortal flower sat in the museum’s collection, unlearned.

Now, researchers have re-examined the specimen and say it suffered from mistaken identity. Using new technology, they determined that the flower may have come from a different species: Symplocos, a type of flower that grows today in southeastern China and Japan. As a result, they proposed a new name for the fossil – Symplocos kowalewskii – and shared their findings in a new paper published Thursday in Scientific Reports. The flower’s new name “reveals the need to revisit the originals studied decades ago,” said Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente, a paleontologist at Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History who was not involved. in the research, told Jason Arunn Murugesu, a new scientist. 에볼루션게이밍.

“Exciting discoveries are not only made in the field, but also by studying a significant amount of data hidden in museum collections,” he told the paper. Long Saga of FouSil can begin between 34 million, at the end of the bridge near the Baltic plant and what is now Russia. Sticker has covered a large flower in five pelets and, as time goes in Amber. Fast forward to the end of the 19th century, when people in Kaliningrad, Russia found the flower wrapped in amber, probably in a mine. At some point, the fossil became part of the collection of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Germany, where it was laid – forgotten – in the museum next to a modern example of wood resin. Then, Eva-Maria Sadowski, an archaeologist and paleobotanist came to the Natural History Museum in Berlin.

Similarly, a retired colleague has said that the Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources is home to a giant amber flower that is more than eight inches in diameter, three times larger than the second largest amber flower. saved. Sadowski thought his colleague might be exaggerating about the flower and decided to see it for himself. Plants embedded in amber are rare in the past – only 1-3% of the organisms found in Baltic amber are plants, says Kate Golembiewski of the New York Times. And large flowers are rare, because it takes a lot of resin to surround a large flower.

“If you do find one flower, it’s usually very small,” Sadowski told Scientific American’s Jack Tamisiea. When he finally focused on the X4088 model, as it was officially called, he was more interested. Driven by the desire of science, he was waiting for the new knowledge he could get from fossil flowers using modern technology. Curiosity got the better of him. After Sadowski used toothpaste and a sterile cloth to clean the barrier, he studied the flowers with an electron microscope. He found that in addition to preserving the petals and stamens of the flower, amber also contained small amounts of pollen.

Using leather, he carefully removed some of the pollen for further study. By examining the pollen and looking closely at how the plant worked, Sadowski and his colleague, Christa-Charlotte Hofmann, concluded that the 19th-century scientists who first recorded the plant was not recognized.

“Only a very high magnification allows us to see the morphological details of pollen grains that are only a few micrometers in height,” Hofmann, a biologist at the University of Vienna, explained in a statement. They determined that the pollen resembled the Symplocos species of small trees and evergreen trees. What they discovered shows that the flower did not come from the well-known butterfly species that exists today, however, other members of the genus now live in some tropical rainforests in Asia. The new display of the flower may also provide more insight into the type of Baltic amber forest in northern Europe as it was between 34 and 38 years ago, and how the area has changed over the following decades.

“These small grains are natural recorders of past climates and ecosystems that can help us understand how our planet changed in the past due to natural events [ is not human],” says Regan Dunn, a biologist and curator at the Los Angeles Brea. . The Tar Pits and the Museum were not involved in the investigation, according to the Times. “It gives us a better understanding of the impact our species have on the planet.”