Oise Amber (Argiles à lignites du Soissonnais, Lowermost Eocene [~56-53 Ma])
Creil, Oise Department, France
Argiles à lignites du Soissonnais
Lowermost Eocene (~56-53 Ma)
Specimen C (Left): 0.4g / 15x12x5mm
Specimen D (Right): 0.3g / 10x10x8mm
Longwave UV (365nm)
Entry nine of ten, detailing various rare ambers from European, Asian, and North American localities.
French amber localities are extremely numerous and are found in 35 departments. There are at least 55 Cretaceous amber localities, contained mainly within the southern half of France; three French departments also host amber from the Carboniferous Period. Many of the Upper Paleocene to Lower Eocene amber localities were widely available in the 1800s to the 1950s, but as the lignite, potash, and alum quarries vanished, so did the amber found in them.
The locality at Oise was discovered in 1996, making it a relatively recent find. It is located within the Paris Basin outside of Creil, at a place known as “Le Quesnoy” (not to be confused with the small town in NE France), and the amber is found in lignite layers situated in clayey sands. These layers were formed during a warming period that caused mass extinctions in Europe, but not necessarily among the insects; warm oceans and high temperatures created ideal conditions for a tropical environment at that time.
Fossilized remains of the amber-producing tree “Aulacoxylon sparnacense” are commonly found in amber deposits near Houdancourt and Moru; the structure of the wood is reminiscent of modern trees of the subfamilies Combretaceae and Caesalpiniaceae. The Aulacoxylon genus belongs to the same subfamily (Detarioideae) as the trees which were responsible for the production of the Dominican and Mexican, and possibly Ethiopian ambers (Genus: Hymenaea). Since 1996, at least 20,000 arthropod inclusions in Oise amber have already been collected, mostly belonging to the Psocoptera (barklice) and Coleoptera (beetles).
“Insects from the Early Eocene amber of Oise (France): diversity and palaeontological significance”; Denisia, Volume 0026, pp. 41-52; Nicolas, André, Denis 2009
“The French ambers: a general conspectus and the Lowermost Eocene amber deposit of Le Quesnoy in the Paris Basin”; Geologica Acta, Volume 2; A. Nel, G. De Ploëg, et. al. 2004
© Kaegen Lau
From the album:
Fossil Amber and Copal: Worldwide Localities
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Photo Information for Oise Amber (Argiles à lignites du Soissonnais, Lowermost Eocene [~56-53 Ma])
Taken with SAMSUNG SAMSUNG WB35F/WB36F/WB37F
- 4.3 mm
- f f/3.1
- ISO 200
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