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In prehistoric times dragonflies were much larger. In fact, they were the largest flying insects ever!
Above image copyright ©Werner Kraus; used with permission.
In the prehistoric jungles 280-325 million years ago, during the Carboniferous period, when trees were towering giants, dragonflies as big as hawks soared through the air. Their prehistoric remains have been found in the Permian rocks of Kansas, in the Jurassic formations of Siberia and many other parts of the world with wings nearly thirty inches from tip to tip.
Dragonflies were perhaps the first of all creatures to be able to fly and their design inspired man to invent the helicopter.
Fossil dragonflies predate the earliest dinosaurs by some 100 million years.
Indeed, dragonflies, along with cockroaches and silverfish, were one of the earliest insect forms to appear on earth. The dragonfly has lived on to this day, even while the dinosaurs passed into oblivion, and cave dwellers evolved into modern humans.
The only thing that changed with the dragonfly was its size. As the giant trees dwarfed, the dragonfly has adapted by shrinking.