Jewel Of The Earth - What is so captivating about an insect trapped in amber?
Compression fossils often suffer significant abuse in the countless millennia it takes to become a fossil. Not the fly—the amber has entirely protected it. Using the microscope, I can "walk around" the fly as around a sculpture, seeing it from all angles. And it retains both its original color (which happens to be black) and the very posture it held as it died; it didn't even have time to retract its wings. The fly may even yet contain cells and DNA. That's an amazing thought, that the blueprint for this long-vanished creature, eons in the making, might still lie preserved in this gemlike piece of fossilized resin.