Marine organisms are uncommonly preserved in amber. Recently, they were reported to be associated with Burmese amber. However, most of specimens from previous reports were preserved on the amber surface or within the sediment surrounding the amber. Based on X-ray tomography and thin-section optical microscopy of Burmese amber, we report here the first genuine and unambiguous evidence of inclusion of crinoid ossicles preserved in the fossil resin. Preservation of this exclusively marine group in amber gives insights into the paleoenvironment of the crinoid-amber association and provides additional evidence to support previous observations of shallow-water stalked crinoids from the mid-Cretaceous, when many stalked crinoids started to shift offshore due to increased predation pressure during the Mesozoic Marine Revolution. Crinoid remains, represented by disarticulated stem and arm ossicles assignable to Isocrinus cf. legeri (Repelin), point to a mid-Cretaceous age for the Burmese amber and support some previous hypotheses suggesting a close proximity between the resin-producing trees and seawater.
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Vol. 34 • No. 12