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Lizards Body & Detached Tail Trapped In Copal 87mm


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A Highly Rare prehistoric inclusion of a Ghost Gecko encapsulated in copal, trapped in the oozing tree resin from the ancient forests of Madagascar.

Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Infraorder: Gekkota, Cuvier, 1817
Genus: Gecko
Age: Approximately 1.6 million years to 10,000 years.
Origin: Madagascar.

Copal measurements.
Length: 8.7 cm
Diameter: 1.8 cm

Approximate weight: 0,015 g

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The ghost gecko lizard encapsulated in petrified tree resin from the ancient forests of Madagascar. The impression of the ancient lizard is clear in the images above, once trapped in the sticky tree sap, the gecko could not completely free itself, as more sap oozed from the tropical tree this encapsulated the little gecko. The head of the gecko appears to have been lost.

It is clear the gecko's tail has become detached, the detachable tail end is some distance from the position of the gecko's remaining hind quarter with hind legs. It is, therefore, reasonable to interrupt this as evidence that the gecko lost its tail in the act of trying to free itself from the sticky resin. The general consensus for gecko inclusions is one of predation, the gecko sees the smorgasbord of insects trapped within the oozing tree resin and enters into the trap itself. Most gecko lizards were strong enough to release themselves if at first stuck in heavy flows of sap. This is one of the reasons lizards are are so rarely found in ambers and copal's. This individual was not so lucky.

The petrified copal stalactite exhibits clarity, the amber coloured window with a varied collection of encapsulated prehistoric debris and insects which one can easily pick out within the golden syrup of the petrified and fossilised copal. Insects present includes a winged wasp type insect and legs of a damsel or crane fly near the gecko.

Most copal discovered in the Southern Hemisphere, in South America and southern parts of Africa, are considered to be under 65,000 years old. As carbon dating is not considered accurate beyond 50,000 years old it is presently considered difficult to date these petrified and fossilised specimens, therefore, until further research is published these specimens remain scientifically undeterminable.

Gecko's have an amazing adaption along with the arachnids, tiny hairs on their feet which enable them to have an amazing stickiness themselves, these hairs although minute create a force known as the van der Waals force, this spiderman quality helps them scale vertical walls, whilst also like spiders able to jump and skilfully land.

The window into an ancient lost world? romantic musing perhaps. Nevertheless, the undeniable mysteries of the glowing and tactile fossil resin, added to the trapped flora and fauna within, stimulates thoughts of tropical prehistoric forests. Here, in these globules of prehistoric moments, view the still life of calamities of an ancient lost world frozen forever. The author here, In youth, placed a time capsule into the ground with treasured possessions, here then a paleontological capsule has been naturally laid down.

How interesting and enlightening are the bridges of the past, these organic tombs provide a distance connection to that world. To hold in one's hand moments cast forth tens of thousands to millions of years from the petrified and fossilised past to the present is mesmerising. As one orientates these golden nectar capsules through light the creatures inside become animated in a dancing chaotic waltz paused in a few moments for all time.