Beijing: A giant, well preserved dragonfly fossil, dating back 200 million years, has been discovered in China.
Researchers from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in China said the dragonfly lived in the Late Triassic period (251 million to 199 million years ago).
It was discovered in Junggar Basin in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2013.
A single wing of the insect is about 101 millimetres long, the second largest dragonfly fossil ever found in China.
The largest had a wing length of 107.6 millimetres, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Dragonfly fossils are hard to preserve, but the newly discovered fossil is comparatively well-preserved, researchers said.
Since 300 million years ago when dragonflies came into being, they have become increasingly smaller, said Zhang Haichun from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology.
The modern dragonflies have a wingspan ranging from 30 to 90 millimetres.
"With the lowering of oxygen content of the air, and the appearance of predators such as Pterosaur, birds and bats, large dragonflies with poor manoeuvrability gradually went extinct," Zhang said.