Drops of phloem sap about a quarter the thickness of a hair preserved in 105 Ma old El Soplao amber. Microphotograph Museo Geominero.
Abundant microscopic, dark inclusions in Cretaceous ambers, sometimes forming internal, dark bands, have been a mystery during decades. Some authors considered them as fossilized vacuole-bearing microorganisms. Now, part of the team that study the Spanish amber has discover that these inclusions actually are drops of phloem sap emissions together the original resin that contained them. The sap inclusions contain amber spheroids inside and preserve both organic and inorganic residues consistent with degraded components from its original composition. This discovery describe in fine detail the first fossilized phloem sap know, which is 105 million years old. Without doubt new lines of amber research are awaiting to be explored in taxonomy, taphonomy, paleophysiology and paleoecology using this phloem sap as case study.
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