A 99-million-year-old beetle shines light on the evolution of glowing insects

(CNN)Bioluminescent insects have long fascinated scientists, but little is known about how these animals got their light abilities. A 99-million-year-old beetle recently discovered by researchers, however, unlocks a piece of the evolutionary puzzle, according to a study published in The Royal Society journal.

The beetle, known by its Latin name Cretophengodes, was found fossilized in a piece of amber in northern Myanmar. The tropical location was full of insect life during the Cretaceous period, said study author Chenyang Cai, an associate professor at Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.