Amber reveals ancient portals into the Triassic to Paleogene terrestrial worlds of Australia and New Zealand

Jeffrey Stilwell, Andrew Langendam, Chris Mays, Lachlan Sutherland, Antonio Arillo, Daniel J Bickel, William T de Silva, Adele H Pentland, Guido Roghi, Gregory D Price, David John Cantrill, Annie E Quinney, Enrique Peñalver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The Northern Hemisphere dominates our knowledge of Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossilized tree resin(amber) with few findings from the high southern paleolatitudes of Southern Pangea and Southern Gondwana. Here we report new Pangean and Gondwana amber occurrences dating from ~230 to 40 Ma from Australia (Late Triassic and Paleogene of Tasmania; Late Cretaceous Gippsland Basin in Victoria; Paleocene and late Middle Eocene of Victoria) and New Zealand (Late Cretaceous Chatham Islands). The Paleogene, richly fossiliferous deposits contain significant and diverse inclusions of arthropods, plants and fungi. These austral discoveries open six new windows to different but crucial intervals of the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic, providing the earliest occurrence(s) of some taxa in the modern fauna and flora giving new insights into the ecology and evolution of polar and subpolar terrestrial ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

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