is a fossil resin, and its external condition, as well as its chemical
composition, points to its vegetable origin. This view is strengthened
by its frequent occurrence in connection with brown coal or lignite.
further · proof were wanted of the vegetable origin of Amber, it exists
in the inclusion of insects, leaves, pieces of wood, moss, seeds, and
little stones, all of which may be seen in that which is found on the
coast of the Baltic, or in Burma. The condition of these inclusions
proves the liquid character of the resinous matter as it flowed forth
and involved the insects ; and it shews, also, the subsequent slow
progress of the solidification which ensued. The most delicate parts of
the creature are often preserved in their natural positions—probably
because the Amber, when it originally exuded from the tree, was a
liquid of thin consistency.
innumerable organic remains, which this resin has preserved uninjured
for ages, give us a marvellous insight into the Vegetable life of that
division of the Tertiary period known to the geologists as the
Oligocene age—the age to which the Amber forests of northern Europe may
be referred. We here see plants quite unknown at the present day in the
flora of the northern sea-coasts,, but which have a relationship to
the existing flora of the shores of the Mediterranean. The late Prof.
Goeppert, of Breslau, christened the principal Amber-yielding tree the Pinites succinifer.