Chinese scientists discover 99-million-year-old beetle species

(The Beijing News/Tao Ran)

Chinese scientists announced that they discovered a rare species of beetle from the age of dinosaurs in an amber on Dec. 21, the Beijing News reported.

Known as Notocupes denticollis, the beetle was proven to have come from Myanmar 99 million years ago in the cretaceous period.

Experts pointed out that only six kinds of beetles under this particular family exist in the world, and this discovery will help scientists learn about the classifications of the beetle family and the evolutionary changes of beetles.

The specimen is so well preserved that the male genitalia of the insect can be seen under the microscope, allowing scientists to discover its identity and its ties with other similar species.

The discovery was first made by Song Chengjun, then 14 years old, when he was helping Liu Ye, his instructor as well as a researcher at the Institute of Zoology with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, polishing ambers last year.

According to Liu, Song started to learn about animals and plants from him and other scientists two years before that and even began to participate in the scientific research and project under the guidance of his instructors.

The amber is now being exhibited at the Paleodiary Natural History Museum, located on the fourth floor of the Zhongguancun Book Building.

Conducted by Jiang Zhuoyin and Li Yingge, both undergraduates at the Beijing Forestry University, Doctor Shi Hongliang at the university, Song Chengjun, Liu Ye among others, the research was published in the journal Cretaceous Research.