One of the mysteries that still raises several concerns in paleontologists is the fossilized insects in amber, which remain intact regardless of the passing of the years.
This is explained by a recent article published in the magazine Proceendings of The Royal Society B, where a team of experts from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology identified three intact insects in amber from 99 million years ago.
In the experiment, scientists set out to identify the true color of each of the critters, dating back to the Cretaceous period, the time in Earth’s history when humans did not yet exist.
The three insects that are preserved in the material were found in a Myanmar mine, located in Burma where a beetle, a fly and a wasp are found.
In the words of James Lamsdell, a biologist at the University of West Virginia “the way the color of these things is preserved is really impressive. There have been previous data on this type of fossil in the past, but we are often not seeing the true color as it has been mutated by the fossilization process. ”
To detect the true tone of the insects, the scientists devoted themselves to collecting clues to the cellular structure of the exoskeleton and from there they were able to obtain the first hypotheses of the real color of each insect.
However, in the case of these three fossils, the iridescent structural color remained visible while the researchers were preparing the samples, so the process of polishing the amber was not necessary.
The colors observed by the scientists were blue, purple and green, which were obtained after analyzing the samples. The images published by the scientists received a small edit in Photoshop to adjust the brightness and contrast, but in everything else they are intact.
Among the final analyzes of the experts, they highlight that “it seems that the insects developed different tones at some point, but how they have remained intact after millions of years of existence on the planet is still a mystery.”