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Random Facts About 'Meganeura' That Was A Prehistoric Dragonfly With A Two-Foot Wingspan

  • It Had Huge Eyes on Random Facts About 'Meganeura' That Was A Prehistoric Dragonfly With A Two-Foot Wingspan

    (#5) It Had Huge Eyes

    Like today's dragonflies, Meganeura had highly evolved eyes. The prehistoric insect's eyes were incredibly large; they helped the creature scout out prey.

    When Meganeura spotted a frog or other favorable food source, it struck with sharp leg spines and mandibles.

  • Meganeura Wasn't The Only Enormous Prehistoric Insect  on Random Facts About 'Meganeura' That Was A Prehistoric Dragonfly With A Two-Foot Wingspan

    (#13) Meganeura Wasn't The Only Enormous Prehistoric Insect 

    Many extraordinarily large insects coexisted with Meganeura. Higher oxygen levels during the Carboniferous and Permian periods, which stretched from 360 million years ago to 250 million years ago, gave prehistoric critters the opportunity to grow exponentially.

    While Meganeura was the largest flying insect, a sea scorpion grew to 8 feet. And Arthropleura, a prehistoric millipede, rose to a size of 6 feet. 

  • It Hunted Frogs And Newts on Random Facts About 'Meganeura' That Was A Prehistoric Dragonfly With A Two-Foot Wingspan

    (#3) It Hunted Frogs And Newts

    Meganeura ruled the skies 300 million years ago. While it hunted small insects, it also ate larger creatures, like frogs and newts.

    At the time, these amphibians were still acclimating to a more terrestrial lifestyle. That shift made it easier for Meganeura to trace them.

  • It Lived In Fern Jungles Before The Dinosaurs on Random Facts About 'Meganeura' That Was A Prehistoric Dragonfly With A Two-Foot Wingspan

    (#4) It Lived In Fern Jungles Before The Dinosaurs

    Meganeura lived during the Carboniferous period. The species thrived in the humid wetlands, and larval Meganeura lived in the water. During its juvenile phase, Meganeura preyed on aquatic insects and even fish. A strong jaw helped the prehistoric dragonfly hunt in the water and from the air. 

    Giant insects like Meganeura dominated the Earth for millions of years before the dinosaurs.

  • It Was Much Slower Than Modern Dragonflies on Random Facts About 'Meganeura' That Was A Prehistoric Dragonfly With A Two-Foot Wingspan

    (#7) It Was Much Slower Than Modern Dragonflies

    Meganeura was much more enormous than today's dragonflies, and with a wingspan of nearly 2.5 feet, it dwarfed most flying insects in history. But that size significantly impeded the prehistoric creature's movements.

    Scientists suggest Meganeura moved more slowly than modern dragonflies because of the extra bulk.

  • Its Size Might Have Helped It Avoid Oxygen Poisoning on Random Facts About 'Meganeura' That Was A Prehistoric Dragonfly With A Two-Foot Wingspan

    (#9) Its Size Might Have Helped It Avoid Oxygen Poisoning

    Many scientists agree the atmosphere's higher oxygen concentration helped prehistoric insects grow remarkably large. But newer research suggests creatures like Meganeura might have ballooned to enormous sizes to avoid oxygen poisoning. In the larval phase, dragonflies live in water. And during Meganeura's time, higher oxygen levels led to more oxygen that dissolved in the water; larval Meganeura would have absorbed that gas.

    Because high oxygen levels can harm living creatures, Meganeura could have grown to avoid oxygen toxicity.

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Related research shows that the Meganeura dragonfly is an insect that lived in the Carboniferous, and is similar in appearance to modern dragonflies. With its wings spread up to 75 cm, it is the largest insect species that have ever appeared on earth but Meganeura was extinct as early as 250 million years ago in the Permian Period. 

In the Carboniferous period, the climate was warm and humid, and the earth became a paradise for all living things. Prehistoric dragonfly is not only huge in size but also fly fast. With the random tool, you could learn 13 fun facts about Meganeura.

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