Random Fact: Dragonflies

Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet. One theory for this is that high oxygen levels during the Paleozoic era allowed them to grow to huge sizes. There are more than 5000 known species of dragonfly, and the belong to the order Odonata, which means ‘toothed one’ in Greek and refers to their serrated teeth.

Their migratory habits have been tracked by scientists, who have used tiny transmitters attached to the dragonfly’s wings by eyelash glue and superglue. It’s been discovered that green darners from New Jersey travel every third day for an average distance of 7.5 miles, although one dragonfly travelled 100 miles in one day!

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