NANJING, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have been studying a 200 million year old dragonfly fossil.
Scientists with Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeonotology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Thursday that the dragonfly, which lived in the Late Triassic period, was discovered in Junggar Basin in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2013.
A single wing of the animal is about 101 millimeters long, the second largest dragonfly fossil ever found in China. The largest had a wing length of 107.6 millimeters.
The modern dragonflies have a wingspan ranging from 30 to 90 millimeters.
The largest dragonfly discovered in the world had a wingspan of 710 millimeters and lived in the early Permian period some 280 million years ago.
Zhang Haichun, leader of the research team, said since 300 million years ago when dragonflies came into being, they have become increasingly smaller.
With the lowering of oxygen content of the air, and the appearance of predators such as Pterosaur, birds and bats, large dragonflies with poor maneuverability gradually went extinct, Zhang said.
Researcher Zheng Daran said, dragonfly fossils are hard to preserve, but the fossil discovered this time is comparatively well-preserved.