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200-million-year-old giant dragonfly fossil found

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

A giant, well preserved dragonfly fossil, dating back 200 million years, has been discovered in

Researchers from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in said the dragonfly lived in the Late Triassic period (251 million to 199 million years ago).

It was discovered in Junggar Basin in Uygur Autonomous Region in 2013.

A single wing of the insect is about 101 millimetres long, the second largest dragonfly fossil ever found in

The largest had a wing length of 107.6 millimetres, state-run Xinhua agency reported.

Dragonfly fossils are hard to preserve, but the newly discovered fossil is comparatively well-preserved, researchers said.

Since 300 million years ago when dragonflies came into being, they have become increasingly smaller, said Zhang Haichun from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology.

The modern dragonflies have a wingspan ranging from 30 to 90 millimetres.

"With the lowering of oxygen content of the air, and the appearance of predators such as Pterosaur, birds and bats, large dragonflies with poor manoeuvrability gradually went extinct," Zhang said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 19 2017. 17:22 IST