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Lizard in amber

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Gierłowska lizard
Gierłowska lizard
Fot. www.gdansk.pl

A long, veeeery long time ago, in the eocene epoch, about 40 mil- lion years ago. The mythical land of Fenno - Skandia (now Scandinavia) and growing on its lush, humming, subtropical forest with plenty of amber resinous pines. What did creatures look like who lived there? Not all of them have become irrecoverably extinct. Some have passed on to history because they were imprisoned in a sticky drop of resin and so survived to this day. Scientifically it is known as amber inclusion. The most frequent animal inclusions are insects which are less than one centimetre in size. It was the most difficult for them to escape resin traps. Most inclusion specimens are very rare. One of them is the “Gierłowska lizard”, a unique specimen named after its finder, Gdańsk amber hunter Gabriela Gierłowska. There are only a few lizard inclusions in the world. This one, in the collection of the Amber Museum (purchase financed by the L. Kronenberg Bank Foundation) is the first found in Poland, in Gdańsk, and at the same time the second one in the world.

Amber Museum

Amber Museum
Amber Museum
Fot. Gdańska Organizacja Turystyczna

The branch of the Gdańsk History Museum not only boasts of this curiosity. The Amber Museum in the Fore Gate Complex of Długa Street - Gdańsk’s popular barbican - continues its prewar tradition, alluding to the Gdańsk inclusion collection located in the Green Gate which was lost during World War 2. The latest unique specimen in the nature collection of the museum (purchase financed by the L. Kronenberg Bank Foundation) is the second, known in the world, inclusion of Solifugae in amber (these modern relatives of spiders are found in the tropics, they can run at a speed of 15km/hour and jump 1 metre high). In the collections of world museums you will not find such a specimen. In the recesses of the museum you can learn the history of the formation of “Northern Gold” and inclusion, the medicinal use of amber, see a display of how it is crafted and finally beautiful collections, including the most precious-objects from the collection of Georg Laue - which were made in Gdańsk in the 17th and 18th century.