An insect fossil discovered by a high school student in Japan during class has been confirmed to be of a new species of dung beetle.

During a geoscience class in September last year, Kota Yatagai, then a senior at Keio Senior High School in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, discovered the almost perfectly preserved fossil in his rock.

The class was conducted under a teaching method in which students break rocks themselves in hopes of finding fossils. The rocks were extracted in the grounds of a natural history museum in eastern Japan, from strata formed around 300,000 years ago.