Giant Dragonfly

Enormous dragonflies used to live in swamps millions of years ago in the Jurassic period. Their fossils have been found in many places in Europe that tell us of their vast size.

Dinosaurs were born to the earth and died out from it, plants and birds and vast continents were born, and still the giant dragonfly didn’t die out.

Although it is no longer as widely spread as it once was, the Giant Dragonfly still remains apart of the fauna of the world today, a remnant of ancient days.
Several species still survive, three in Australia, one in Japan, two in North America.

giant dragonfly Giant Dragonfly
Giant Dragonfly

The Australian species inhabit the rainforests of the north, near Queensland and near Perth in swampy areas.

With a wing-span of about 5 inches, and a large thick body that can be as fat as a thumb, this dragonfly weighs more than some birds.

This is indeed a very unique dragonfly, even if it were not so large.
The adults of this type are not good fliers, probably due to the excessive weight of them, however, not necessarily so.

A night they roost in trees, rather like a large flightless turkey might do, and by day they will perch on vegetation or hang from branches to feed.

They do fly upward to grab a meal, and once in a while fly the breadth of their territory, or fly to mate.
Other than this they remain largely ground bound, or tree bound as it were.

The larvae which come of the matings are extremely long living and are very slow to grow and mature.

At night and during rainy weather they will eat at the surface, but the rest of the time they go back to a burrow where they live, a long passage that has its opening above the water. They float on the top to gather food and then return to the burrow again.

These dragonflies will also last ten years as adult dragonflies, but when you add the larval stage they may have a lifespan of well over twenty years.

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