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Amber fossils reveal the Early Cenozoic dipterocarp rainforest in central Tibet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • He Wang
  • Suryendu Dutta
  • Richard S. Kelly
  • Arka Rudra
  • Sha Li
  • Qing Qing Zhang
  • Qian Qi Zhang
  • Yi Xiao Wu
  • Mei Zhen Cao
  • Bo Wang
  • Jian Guo Li
  • Hai Chun Zhang
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Early online date6 Oct 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 30 Sep 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2018


The palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of central Tibet is key to understanding the uplift history of the Tibetan Plateau, which had a profound influence on Cenozoic global climate and biotic change. Here we report an amber layer from the lower part of the Dingqing Formation (late Oligocene) in Lunpola of central Tibet, which is the first record of amber from Tibet. Herein we find that Lunpola amber is derived from dipterocarp trees, as determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, which are restricted to and dominant in Asian rainforest nowadays. This amber forest represents the northernmost dipterocarp forest and is consistent with the hypothesis of out-of-India dispersal of Asian dipterocarps. The Lunpola amber most probably was derived from the lower part of the Niubao Formation (early–middle Eocene) and suggests a tropical/subtropical wet forest was present in central Tibet at least before the late Oligocene (probably early–middle Eocene).

    Research areas

  • Oligocene, Ostrocods, Palynology, Rainforest, Tibet amber


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