Meganeuropsis lucas-lima 4x3

Meganeuropsis is an extinct genus of griffinfly, order Meganisoptera, known from the Early Permian Wellington Formation of North America, and represents the largest known insect of all time. Meganeuropsis existed during the Artinskian age of the Permian period, 290.1–283.5 mya. The genus includes two described species by Frank Morton Carpenter, fossil insect curator at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University:


Although the Great Dying had commenced at this point, Meganeuropsis was not much smaller than its ancestor, with it having a 70 cm wingspan while Meganeura had somewhere over 75 cm. Due to the sheer drop of both oxygen levels and food supply, how this creature was able to sustain itself is unknown. While Meganeuropsis seems to have become quite hardy to adapt, it too succumbed to the Permian extinction. This was the last of griffinflies, so when it went, the whole group did, along with a third of all insects.


Meganeuropsis likely lived like modern dragonflies, albeit accounting its gargantuan size there was a lot more on the menu. Including its regular meals, this griffinfly probably also feasted on small lizards and similar creatures. Its young were just as voracious, devouring the young of the amphibians that were left. However, it just couldn't handle the loss of food and it went extinct, spelling the doom of the griffinflies.