Bernstein-Kabinett (Amber Cabinet)

Few can escape being fascinated by amber, even though it is only resin produced by conifers and some deciduous trees to seal wounds. Over millions of years, all volatile components evaporated and the remaining threadlike molecules became entangled and knotted together. Now it is amber: odourless, non-adhesive, temporarily resistant to solvents, and flammable. The latter quality is reflected in the German term for amber: “Bernstein” derived from the Low German word “Börnsteen”, meaning “burning stone”. Amber was formed almost all over the world at different periods of Earth history. As diverse as its origins are its chemical components and colour variations, which are caused by weathering, trapped air bubbles, drops of liquid, or other impurities. Scientific interest is less focussed on the amber itself, but rather on the inclusions, which may consist of beautifully preserved animals or plants embedded in the amber.

Resin provider of Dominican amber

Resin provider of Baltic amber

Parental care in ants

Mass catches

Colour preservation beetle



Bird feather