This fossil, likely that of a primitive hornet, belongs to a group
of stinging insects called Hymenoptera. Insects evolved into the general types
we see today about 250 million years ago, when dinosaurs and small mammals
first appeared. It wasn't until the Early Cretaceous, however, that
groups such as Hymenoptera began to diversify—a process linked to the
evolution of the earliest flowering plants. When this hornet lived, for
instance, its cousin the honeybee had yet to make its evolutionary appearance.