Did you know the largest insect to ever live was a dragonfly with a wingspan of 2.5 feet (75 cm)?
This extinct insect, called Meganeuropsis permiana, lived during the Permian period, about 290 million years ago, in the area we now think of as the Midwest United States. The first high-quality fossil of one was found in 1939 in Elmo, Kansas.
That happens to be 50 miles (80 km) from where I grew up (I know, a useless tidbit of information).
You may know that today's dragonflies are predators, feeding on other insects like mosquitoes. Meganeuropsis was also a predator, both in the larva stage and as a flying adult. But it could handle much larger prey, including small reptiles and amphibians.
The only known predator of Meganeuropsis was the giant amphibian called Proterogyrinus, which was eight feet (2.5 m) long. Below is an accurate model of Meganeuropsis.
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