Dragonflies have been the theme for the week so was the wingspan of the biggest ever dragonfly nearest to that of
a) a sparrow
b) a kestrel
c) an albatross
The biggest dragonfly ancestor from the fossil record is the Meganeura which flew around 300 million years ago towards the end of the carboniferous period. It had a wingspan of about 70 cm (which is over two feet in old money), just a little under that of a modern kestrel. By contrast the largest living member of the Odonata today is the Forest Giant Damselfly (Megaloprepus caerulatus) of Central and South America which has a wingspan of 19cm (7.5") which is about the same as a Blue Tit or American Redstart.
For more on dragonflies and more besides see this week's #CreteNature Blog: Dragonfly Summer
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