What is Meganeura?
Meganeura was a genus of dragonfly-like insects that lived during the late part of the Paleozoic era, during the Carboniferous and Permian periods. It includes the largest known flying insect species, including Meganeura monyi, Meganeura americana, and Meganeuropsis permiana, a closely related species. These so-called “griffinflies” had wingspans of more than 75 cm (2.5 ft). Some griffinflies persisted into the Triassic and possibly the early Triassic period. Meganeura and its relatives are considered griffinflies rather than dragonflies because they derive from a different lineage, despite evolutionary convergence and similarity. Meganeura and its relatives are part of order Protodonata, which means “primitive dragonfly.” They are not considered true dragonflies because they lack several distinctive features found in dragonflies. For instance, the vein pattern on the front and back wings of Meganeura is almost the same, in contrast to modern dragonflies which have vein patterns that v