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How did 20-30 myo salamander in amber get IN there?

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salamander in amber/George Poinar, Jr., Oregon State U

From ScienceDaily:

More than 20 million years ago, a short struggle took place in what is now the Dominican Republic, resulting in one animal getting its leg bitten off by a predator just before it escaped. But in the confusion, it fell into a gooey resin deposit, to be fossilized and entombed forever in amber.

The fossil record of that event has revealed something not known before — that salamanders once lived on an island in the Caribbean Sea. Today, they are nowhere to be found in the entire Caribbean area.

“There are very few salamander fossils of any type, and no one has ever found a salamander preserved in amber,” Poinar said. “And finding it in Dominican amber was especially unexpected, because today no salamanders, even living ones, have ever been found in that region.”

Maybe the salamanders usually opted for self-preservation instead of amber preservation? 😉 That said,

Also a mystery, he said, is how salamanders got there to begin with. The physical evidence suggests the fossil represents an early lineage of phethodon salamanders that evolved in tropical America.

This fossil is 20-30 million years old, and its lineage may go back 40-60 million years ago when the Proto-Greater Antilles, that now include islands such as Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, were still joined to North and South America. Salamanders may have simply stayed on the islands as they began their tectonic drift across the Caribbean Sea. They also may have crossed a land bridge during periods of low sea level, or it’s possible a few specimens could have floated in on debris, riding a log across the ocean.More.

Must have been a pretty big and pretty stable log.

As more is known about the history of life (evolution), it becomes less grand speculation and more history. Actual history is based on evidence, so it is more fiddly than “there is a grandeur in this view of life,” and all that. As more is known about the history of life (evolution), it becomes less grand speculation and more history. Hence the ferment around the “modern synthesis” (Darwinism).

But, one trusts, history will be more informative in the long run.

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5 Replies to “How did 20-30 myo salamander in amber get IN there?

  1. 1
    cantor says:

    I saw a salamander-shaped cloud yesterday. Can I get that published?

    I wish the article had provided more detail how it was determined that it was actually a salamander. Did they cut it open? Or use MRI or CAT for example?

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Must have been a pretty big and pretty stable log.

    Nah. It’s easy. Evolutionary testing. Get a log. Put a salamander on it. Then put it in the Caribbean. Then count how many days it takes to get to the island.

    This is an evolutionary test so it’s ok to feed them and pull the log with a boat.

    Who said evolution doesn’t provide extremely valuable insights?

  3. 3
    News says:

    As an 18th century wit put it:

    The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
    But wonder how the devil they got there.

  4. 4
    bb says:

    Carbon dating the resin could yield interesting results.

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    These creatures were only fossilized in a post flood world about , 1900 BC or so.
    Yes all creatures colonised the americas originally after the flood. then the rising waters and disasters brought extinction and separation..
    Probably the amber cases were from some sudden problem and not happanchance.
    the heology is wrong and so the biology is worthless since its based on geology.

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