Mageneura was the largest insect that has ever lived. However, it wasn’t the heaviest
Meganeura Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Meganeura brongniarti
Meganeura Physical Characteristics
Over 1 lb (450 g)
Meganeura Distribition

Insects today are pesky little points you can whack away with your hand. Yet they weren’t constantly in this manner. Like lots of animals from the past, primitive insects utilized to be huge in dimension. One such big insect was theMeganeura Meganeura was a team of huge insects that lived from the Late Carboniferous to the Permian duration. Carefully pertaining to existing- day dragonflies, the Meganeura was dramatically bigger and had numerous distinct attributes that separate them from its living family members. Numerous researchers think about the Meganeura to be the biggest insect that has actually ever before lived.

Summary and Dimension

Meganeura is an extinct genus of huge insects that lived throughout the Carboniferous and Permian duration. It was just one of the biggest flying insects ever before to exist. The name equates as “huge blood vessels,” a recommendation to the network of blood vessels that sustained the insect’s wings like a skeletal system and provided oxygen.

Meganeura lived about 300 million years back. This huge insect and others like it were typically described as griffinflies– an extinct order of insects or else referred to as Meganispora. The dragonflies might be the closest summary of what the Meganeura may have resembled. It had a lengthy slim body with protruding eyes that were bigger about the remainder of its body.

The wingspan of the huge dragonfly has actually been approximated to be concerning 25.6 to 28 inches (65- 70 centimeters). Their wings were crisscrossed with a network of blood vessels. Although they resemble existing- day dragonflies, they were dramatically bigger and a lot more durable. 300 million years back, oxygen was 35% of the climatic make-up. So, researchers think this added to the unbelievably plus size of the Meganeura.

Among their most noticeable attributes is the existence of spinal columns on their huge appendages. While the objective of these spinal columns is not completely recognized, researchers believe they may have acted as some catch for capturing target. Nevertheless, it is likewise feasible that Meganeura utilized them for breeding and anchoring.

It is very important to keep in mind that despite the fact that this insect had the biggest wingspan of any kind of well-known insect, their bodies were not actually hefty. Their weight was lighter than that of lots of living beetles today. They considered over 1 pound (450 g).

Diet – What Did Meganeura Eat?

Meganeura was an obligate predator with extremely progressed protruding eyes, sharp eating mouthparts, and a varied diet. The huge eyes permitted the huge insect to look for target. Likewise, offered its massive dimension, it might select from a variety of insects and eat little amphibians and various other animals. At the time, amphibians, like frogs and toads, were still obtaining utilized to an extra earthbound way of living. This would certainly have made it simple for the Meganeura to capture and exploit them.

Like existing- day dragonflies, Meganeua possibly tarried around the sides of streams, fish ponds, and various other water bodies where target was plentiful. Meganeura existed long in the past birds and bats emerged. This indicates it was one of the most noticeable airborne killer at the time.

Environment – When and Where It Lived

Meganeura progressed throughout the late Carboniferous duration up until its termination in the Permian duration concerning 3 hundred million years back. It controlled the planet for countless years prior to the dinosaurs emerged. Like contemporary meat-eating insects, it lived near freshwater and grew in moist marshes. The insect existed in a time when aquatic life thrived, therefore it was located near the side of bodies of water, such as streams and fish ponds in the huge equatorial cozy woodlands that covered the facility of France.

Meganeura – Dangers and Predators

Meganeura was a leading killer of its time. An absence of flying predators at the time permitted this insect to rule the skies for countless years and is just one of the major factors they expanded so huge.

Discoveries and Fossils – Where It was Discovered

Paleontologists uncovered the very first Meganeura fossils in 1880 in Late Carboniferous coal down payments near Coventry in France. It would certainly take 5 years for researchers to call the animal. At some point, a French paleontologist Charles Brongniart called it Meganeura in 1885.

In 1979, they located an additional fossil in Bolsover, Derbyshire. The very first fossil of the Meganeura is housed in the National Gallery of Nature in Paris, France. Regardless of the huge dimension of these lion flies, fossils of this team of primitive insects are badly protected.

Termination – When Did It Pass away Out?

Meganeura came to be extinct at the end of the Permian duration concerning 250 million years back. The Permian termination memorably erased 90% of the planet’s species. Adjustments in weather were the significant reason for this occasion. Researchers recommend that the loss of oxygen’s make-up (to 21%) airborne about what it was 300 million years ago made the Meganeura go extinct.

Similar Animals to Meganeura

Various other insects similar to the Meganeura consist of:

  • Meganeuropsis permiana: Like Meganeura, this dragonfly- like insect resided in The United States and Canada throughout the Permian duration and had a wingspan of approximately 28 inches. It is just one of the biggest insects that ever before lived.
  • Bohemiatupus: This is an extinct genus of griffinfly that lived throughout the Carboniferous duration. Grownups may have had a wingspan of approximately 20 inches.
  • Anomalocaris: Anomalocaris is an extinct genus of shrimp- like arthropods that lived throughout the Cambrian duration.

Relevant Animals


  1. Evolution of Life, Available here:
  2. Geology In, Available here:
  3. Prehistoric Wildlife, Available here:
  4. Scientific Reports / André Nel, Jakub Prokop, Martina Pecharová, Michael S. Engel & Romain Garrouste , Available here:

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