- With more than 6,000 collection items, the amber collection is one of the most important of its kind in Germany and of worldwide importance. Amber is fossil resin, usually from strongly resinous conifers, which has survived tens of thousands, sometimes even millions of years in various deposits. It is not uncommon for animal and plant remains to be enclosed in amber, including splendidly preserved insects. Often these include species that are otherwise not known from the fossil record. The largest part of the amber collection is made up of pieces from the approx. 45 million year old Baltic amber and from the Bitterfeld amber. They give a detailed insight into the diversity of insects and other small animals in North-West Europe during an era when Europe had a subtropical to tropical climate. About half of the collection is due to the commitment and donations of the Society for the Promotion of Geology and Palaeontology Museum of the University of Hamburg.
- A fascinating aspect of amber fossils is that also behavior can be recorded and delivered to posterity. The study of amber thus allows behavioral research in the past. This is especially important because behavior is extremely rare in the remaining fossil record, although it is a significant characteristic for most species. In recent years, the amber collection was almost completely digitized as part of a DFG project (KO3944 / 4) in order to make the collection accessible from abroad.
- There is currently a joint DFG research project on the amber collection of the Arachnology and Paleontology departments, in which arachnids in amber are examined in order to reconstruct their paleodiversity.
Amber gallery in the university's collection portal