In that regard, the cocoons act just like amber, trapping tiny bugs inside. But unlike amber, which captures actual bugs, these cocoons capture tiny microorganisms, which almost never get preserved in the fossil record. Unlike dinosaur bones, organisms like bacteria, protozoa, and even worms, tend not to preserve well. Their soft bodies usually decay quickly — too quickly for them to make any kind of impression on the dirt and sediments surrounding them. That's what makes this research so exciting. By taking a closer look at the cocoons, researchers can get a better idea of what kinds of microorganisms were around in the past.