×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Amber
     

Amber

by Andrew Ross, Andrew Ross
 

Amber has captured the human imagination for centuries, as amulets, ritual cups, and beads dating back 10,000 years attest. It is a fascinating substance, one that offers a unique intersection of the fields of paleontology, botany, entomology, and mineralogy. The fossilized resin of ancient trees, amber preserves organic material--most commonly insects and other

Overview

Amber has captured the human imagination for centuries, as amulets, ritual cups, and beads dating back 10,000 years attest. It is a fascinating substance, one that offers a unique intersection of the fields of paleontology, botany, entomology, and mineralogy. The fossilized resin of ancient trees, amber preserves organic material--most commonly insects and other invertebrates--and with it the shape and surface detail that are usually obliterated or hopelessly distorted during the mineralization we associate with fossils. To look at an ant or a bee caught in amber is to look not at an organism that has been turned to stone, but at the actual remains of an insect that lived hundreds of millions of years ago, remains that retain an uncanny semblance of life. Amber also offers clues to the evolution of certain behaviors, capturing such interactions as parasitism--a fruit fly with a parasitic mite still attached to it--or mutualism--a bubble of gas indicating the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut of a termite.

Unique to this book are identification keys to the most common insect inclusions as well as practical advice on how to identify all-too-common fakes. Amber will bring the study of this and its inclusions within reach of anyone with access to amber and a good magnifying glass.

Editorial Reviews

New Yorker
Andrew Ross discusses the decorative uses of the burnt-orange translucent resin and gives handy instructions on the (surprisingly simple) methods of telling the genuine article from the fake; he goes on to expound on amber's scientific value, showing how it can provide a superb record of species and habitats that vanished millions of years ago.
Antique Trader
Amber is a fascinating substance that has been captured in beads, necklaces and carvings for centuries...[This book] is a substantial reference for collectors and dealers seeking to identify true amber and its inclusions.
David A. Grimaldi
Among the most unusual substances on Earth, amber combines alluring physical properties with an unparalleled archive of ancient life on our planet. No other substance brings together such richness in art and science. Ross's book fills a niche left vacant by other recent books on the subject. Where other authors have concentrated on the history of amber's use for decorative objects and adornment, Ross's book has more practical value for amateur naturalists. How do you tell fakes? How do you identify inclusions? This book should appeal to hobbyists, museum-goers, and anyone with a serious interest in amber.
Booknews
Amber is fossilized resin from trees, often containing perfectly preserved insects and other organic material from millions of years ago. This lavishly illustrated work tells how amber is formed, where it is found, and how to distinguish genuine amber inclusions from fakes. Demonstrates the many uses of amber in art as well as science, and recounts the search for DNA from insect inclusions. Detailed keys and color photos provide an identification guide to all the insects and other animals found in amber. Ross is curator of fossil arthropods at The Natural History Museum, London. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674017290
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.30(d)

What People are Saying About This

Among the most unusual substances on Earth, amber combines alluring physical properties with an unparalleled archive of ancient life on our planet. No other substance brings together such richness in art and science. Ross's book fills a niche left vacant by other recent books on the subject. Where other authors have concentrated on the history of amber's use for decorative objects and adornment, Ross's book has more practical value for amateur naturalists. How do you tell fakes? How do you identify inclusions? This book should appeal to hobbyists, museum-goers, and anyone with a serious interest in amber.
David A. Grimaldi
Among the most unusual substances on Earth, amber combines alluring physical properties with an unparalleled archive of ancient life on our planet. No other substance brings together such richness in art and science. Ross's book fills a niche left vacant by other recent books on the subject. Where other authors have concentrated on the history of amber's use for decorative objects and adornment, Ross's book has more practical value for amateur naturalists. How do you tell fakes? How do you identify inclusions? This book should appeal to hobbyists, museum-goers, and anyone with a serious interest in amber.
David A. Grimaldi, American Museum of Natural History

Meet the Author

Andrew Ross is Principal Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeobotany at the National Museums Scotland.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews