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Image Gallery: Tiny Insect Pollinators Trapped in Amber

Ancient Thrip in Action

Reconstruction of <em>Gymnospollisthrips</em> with pollen attached to the body over an ovulate organ of a gingko.

(Image credit: Enrique Peñalver, IGME.)

Reconstruction of Gymnospollisthrips with pollen attached to the body over an ovulate organ of a gingko.

Ancient Pollinator

A synchrotron X-ray image of the specimen of <em>Gymnospollisthrips minor</em>, showing the pollen grains (yellow) covering its body.

(Image credit: ESRF)

A synchrotron X-ray image of the specimen of Gymnospollisthrips minor, showing the pollen grains (yellow) covering its body.

Pollen Particles

This photo taken under a microscope reveals Gymnosperm pollen, attached to the abdomen and wing of a <em>Gymnopollisthrips</em> fossilized insect inclusion in amber.

(Image credit: Enrique Peñalver/IGME)

This photo taken under a microscope reveals Gymnosperm pollen, attached to the abdomen and wing of a Gymnopollisthrips fossilized insect inclusion in amber.

I'm Trapped!

Trapped in amber, a specimen of <em>Gymnospollisthrips maior</em> with pollen grains attached to itsbody.

(Image credit: Enrique Peñalver, IGME)

Trapped in amber, a specimen of Gymnospollisthrips maior with pollen grains attached to itsbody.

X-Ray Vision

The researchers used synchrotron X-ray tomography to get a close look at the thrip and attached pollen grains veiled by the amber. Shown here, an amber sample mounted in the microtomograph to be imaged.

(Image credit: ESRF/I.Montero)

The researchers used synchrotron X-ray tomography to get a close look at the thrip and attached pollen grains veiled by the amber. Shown here, an amber sample mounted in the microtomograph to be imaged.

Jeanna Bryner
Before becoming managing editor, Jeanna served as a reporter for Live Science and SPACE.com for about three years. Previously she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a Master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a science journalism degree from New York University. Follow Jeanna on Google+.