The natural time capsule

Andrew Ross

Amber gives a fascinating overview of this prehistoric substance and its fossilized inclusions, describing how amber is formed from the resin of ancient trees, and where in the world this remarkable material can be found.

978 0 565 09131 6
September 1998
200 x 210 mm
72 pp
Colour throughout
Natural History Museum


Written by the Museum’s former Curator of Fossil Arthropods, the book tells how to distinguish genuine amber from fake, describes its many uses, both in art and science, and recounts the elusive search for DNA from insect inclusions. The book also gives detailed keys and photographs to guide the reader in the identification of species of insects and other inclusions that have been trapped and preserved in amber. Lavishly illustrated throughout, Amber is an essential purchase for all those interested in amber and its inclusions.

See inside

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

Pages from Amber

The preface and contents.

Pages from Amber

The properties of amber.

Pages from Amber

Discover where amber is found.

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Amber inclusions.

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How to distinguish genuine amber from fake.

Pages from Amber

A key to winged insects and details of incomplete metamorphosis in bugs.


Andrew Ross began curating the Natural History Museum's amber collection in 1993, where he went onto become the Curator of Fossil Arthropods in the Department of Palaeontology. He is currently Principal Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeobotany at the National Museums Scotland.


Find out what others think of this book.

"...full of lavish photographs and illustrated throughout. It takes us into the world of amber, starting with what amber actually is and describing the trees from which it comes, being followed up by the physical, chemical, and visual characteristics...this is an enjoyable book and can be read by both older children and adults. It is an excellent reference book and will have uses in universities, school libraries, and museums...this is not one of those books you read then put on a shelf. With the many keys to identification, it can be used as a tool for years to come. "

Palaeontologia Electronica

"This book positively glows with the lustrous, resinous qualities of both pleases the eye and instructs. At £7.95 it is a price which most of us would pay without second thought. "

Geology Today

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