The Exhibit Museum of Natural History is currently working on a display that will include a new piece of Baltic amber. Amber is the fossilized resin from trees that has hardened and sometimes trapped insects or plants, called inclusions. The Baltic amber (right) acquired by the Museum came from Kaliningrad, Russia, from the Baltic Sea region, and weighs about 2.7 ounces. It measures 2.75 inches by 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches and contains 12 large flies, six smaller flies, two moths, one spider, one ant, two leaves and one oak bud scale. One of the smaller flies is show above.
As part of the future exhibit, Museum staff are working on making a fiberglass cast of a red pine tree for the background of the exhibit. The bark background was chosen to help reinforce the idea that fossil amber is a product of trees. To find out more about the Exhibit Museums work on the future amber exhibit, visit the Museums Behind the Scenes section on the Web at www.exhibits.lsa.umich.edu/Exhibits/Current/5.4-99/Amber.html. Photos courtesy the Exhibit Museum