Fossils in Burmese Amber


AMBER mines have long been known in Upper Burma, or rather in the adjacent “unadministered tracts.” In 1916 Mr. R. C. J. Swinhoe, of Mandalay, began to send me specimens of Burmese amber (Burmite) containing insects. As opportunity has offered, he has continued to obtain such material, all of which has been transmitted, after investigation, to the British Museum (Natural History). Up to the present time I have been able to describe 38 species of insects, three arachnids and one diplopod. Many other species, which I did not feel competent to deal with, or which could not be seen properly, exist in the amber, and will, I hope, eventually be described by others. On the whole, the fauna is very remarkable, containing a large preponderance of types which are usually considered primitive. The amber was said to come from Miocene clay, in which, however, it was presumably of secondary origin. Judging from the fossils, I suggested as early as 1917 that the amber might be actually very much older than Miocene, conceivably even Upper Cretaceous (Amer. Journ. Sci., Nov. 1917, p. 360).

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COCKERELL, T. Fossils in Burmese Amber. Nature 109, 713–714 (1922).

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