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Lethal combat

Some hundred million years ago a pair of ants from two different species was so preoccupied with their savage battle somewhere on or by a Cretaceous tree in what is now Burma that they failed to notice the oncoming rush of sap flowing from a wound in the bark, maybe caused by a rampaging dinosaur sharpening its claws. They were engulfed and entombed and the sap turned slowly into amber as it lost its volatiles and formed polymer chains. Their gladiatorial moment was thus preserved for posterity, currently incarnated in the shape of the American Museum of Natural History’s collection.


Image credit: American Museum of Natural History