Fossil Record and History

As stated earlier these arial ballarinas have been around since the Carboniferous. That's approximately 300 million years. The fisrt fossil of this order came from the Permian period. Unlike the modern species of the order, these members were gigantic. Most of the early members had a wingpan of 1.5 to 2m and a head just smaller then a soccer ball. Like today they were predators as well. A reason for the change in size is thoght to be realted to the paleoclimate of the time and the respritory system of insects. The air of the environment of the Carboniferous was denser then it is today. For the dragonlies to fly would have required in loarger respritory system and larger wings. Heavier air would have required a larger mass to breathe and larger wings to get the larger mass off the ground. As the air got less dense the size of dragonflies got smaller.

This section will discuss the areas of where some of their fossils have been found and the different types of fossilization they've been found in. Some of the best fossil specimens are from the Solnhofen Limestone, while others have been in the form of amber fossilization. Also this section talks about the ancient class of Protodonata and a breif description of the paleoenvironment of the Protodonata.

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