The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Amber reveals 100 Million years of morphological stasis



Quick facts

Project title: 
Amber reveals 100 Million years of morphological stasis
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 
Amber, Diplopoda, Evolution, Bernstein, millipede, Myriapoda, Millipedes, Taxonomie, Taxonomy, Myanmar, Chordeumatida


Amber, fossilized tree resin, can preserve as a time-capsule the biodiversity of the past, allowing us to explore an ancient ecosystem. Burmese amber formed about 100 million years ago, during the time of the Dinosaurs, in forests covering the area today known as Myanmar. The Burmese amber yield dozens of millipede species, numerous of them males. During this project we will use modern µCT-technology and 3D-reconstructions to describe millipede species. The structure of the gonopods, which can be explored using 3D reconstruction, suggests that they belong to recent genera of the Chordeumatida. Chordeumatida, one of the few millipede groups with an obligate terminal development (adults of both sexes die after a single reproductive season) are an especially diverse group at the genus and family level, thought to be fast-living and fast-evolving. The here studied 100 million year old species challenge this concept.


Contact person

Head of Section Myriapoda
Responsible Editor Bonn zoological Bulletin - Supplementum
+49 228 9122-425
+49 228 9122-212
t.wesener [at]