Identification of Carboniferous (320 million years old) class Ic amber

P. Sargent Bray, Ken B. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of amber, the fossil form of the resins produced by many types of higher plants, has been reported from many localities in Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks. We have found Class I (polylabdanoid) amber in Carboniferous sediments dating to ∼320 million years ago. This result demonstrates that preconifer gymnosperms evolved the biosynthetic mechanisms to produce complex polyterpenoid resins earlier than previously believed and that the biosynthetic pathways leading to the types of polylabdanoid resins that are now typically found in conifers and those now typically found in angiosperms had already diverged by the Carboniferous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-134
Number of pages3
Issue number5949
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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