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Dinosaur-era swamp ecosystem preserved in amber

Rocks that formed in a swamp in what is now Spain 110 million years ago contain both dinosaur bones and amber rich in invertebrate fossils

Life 7 December 2021

feather in amber

Part of a feather preserved in amber from the Santa Maria coal mine

Sergio Alvarez-Parra

An impressive trove of fossil-filled amber has come to light at a 110-million-year-old site that has already yielded dinosaur bones in Ariño, north-eastern Spain. The amber contains an unusually diverse range of insect, plant and vertebrate fossils and provides a rare insight into the life that inhabited what would have been a coastal freshwater swamp during the Cretaceous period.

“Having two different yet complementary windows of preservation from a given fossil [site] – the bonebed and the …