The natural time capsule

Amber cover image

Andrew Ross

In this new edition of Amber, Andrew Ross provides an engaging overview of this prehistoric substance and its fossilized inclusions.

978 0 565 09258 0
February 2010
253 x 192 mm
112 pp
Colour throughout
Natural History Museum


Amber is a remarkable substance that originates from the resin of trees that lived millions of years ago. Anything that became trapped in this sticky resin was fossilized and perfectly preserved. The insects and other inclusions found in amber today are providing scientists with unique insights into the history of life on Earth. 

This revised and reformatted edition of Amber explains how amber is formed, where it is found and how to distinguish genuine amber from fakes. It describes its many uses, both in art and science, and recounts the elusive search for DNA from fossilized insects. 

Detailed keys and stunning photographs, including previously unseen pieces of Burmese amber from the Museums collections, guide the reader in the identification of species of insects and other amber inclusions. Amber is essential reading for all those with an interest in this natural time capsule.

Coming soon to the online shop.

See inside

Look inside this book to get an idea of its content.

Pages from Amber

Pages from Amber

Pages from Amber

Pages from Amber

Pages from Amber

Pages from Amber


Andrew Ross is currently Principal Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeobotany at the National Museums Scotland. He is a former curator of fossil arthropods in the Natural History Museum’s Department of Palaeontology.


Find out what others think of this book.

"Overall, the book is nicely laid out, and the illustrations are very good. Of course, Dr. Ross had the vast resources of the Natural History Museum in which to find the best specimens. The book is cheap at the price, and the algorithm identification method works. It is worthy of a place on the shelf."

Quintin Wight - Canadian Gemmologist Journal

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