Unique showpiece - feather of a prehistoric bird can be seen in the Kaliningrad Amber Museum

10 October 2013
Press Office of the Amber Museum

Unique showpiece - feather of a prehistoric bird - most likely diatryma - can be seen in the Kaliningrad Amber Museum. These birds were about two meters high, lived in amber forest,  where they were predators. They were not able to fly. The sample comes under the notion of extremely rare inclusions.

The enclosure is presented in a new show case of the expositional  section "Enclosures in amber", where also other rare samples are - dragonfly and lizard.

Modern findings with enclosures of dragonflies in Baltic amber are extremely rare. As usual there are just fragments - wings, legs or larval skin left moult.

Presented in the Amber Museum showpiece is of unique condition of  preservation: almost all parts of the insect got into fossil mineral. Dragonflies were wide spread in amber forest, however this abundance is not reflected as inclusions in the sun stone.

Lizards were also mass inhabitants of amber forest. Warm climate and plenty of feed created favourable conditions for them.

Appearingly the lizard got into amber resin already dead as otherwise instinct of stress behavior would have worked - autotomy, dropping of the tail, which is present in the sample.

Pieces shown in the new vitrine demonstrate biological connections typical for amber forest, which inhabitants existed not separately, but compiting with each other for feed and light, they were connected in foodchains. Dragonfly could be victim of a lizard, which in its turn - prey of the diatryma bird.

Except for amber samples there photos of inclusions presented in the show case.

Author of photos – Andranik Manukyan, senior scientific researcher of the Amber Museum, candidate of biological sciences.

Front part of the show case has the picture of amber forest, created by Danish artist Otto Frello.