Chinese researchers have been studying a 200 million-year-old dragonfly fossil.
The dragonfly fossil, which lived in the Late Triassic period, was discovered in Junggar Basin in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2013, scientists with the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeonotology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Thursday.
A single wing of the insect is about 101 millimeters long, making it the second largest dragonfly fossil ever found in China. The largest had a wing length of 107.6 millimeters. The wingspan of modern dragonflies is from 30 to 90 millimeters.
The largest dragonfly discovered in the world had a wingspan of 710 millimeters and lived in the early Permian period some 280 million years ago.
Zhang Haichun, leader of the research team, said since 300 million years ago when dragonflies came into being, they have become increasingly smaller. Large dragonflies with poor maneuverability gradually went extinct due to the lowering of oxygen content of the air, and the appearance of predators such as pterosaur, birds and bats.
Researchers pointed out that although dragonfly fossils are hard to preserve, the fossil discovered this time is comparatively well-preserved.