Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Frozen in Time: Ancient, Long-Fingered Lizard Trapped in Amber


By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | September 11, 2017 11:40am ET

In a case worthy of Sherlock Holmes, researchers are trying to figure out exactly when and where in the world a long-fingered lizard got trapped in the sticky sap of a tree.

Over time, that sap, or tree resin turned into amber, preserving the lizard's remains, including its textured skin. This unique lizard-amber block somehow came into the possession of a man who donated it to the Miller Museum of Geology at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, in the 1980s, but the man didn't report the artifact's age or provenance.

"The man who donated it died, unfortunately," said Ellen Handyside, an undergraduate student studying geological engineering at Queen's University, who is leading the research into the amber-encased lizard. "We are really starting from scratch" in determining its history, she said. [In Photos: Amber Preserves Cretaceous Lizards]


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