What Was the Biggest Insect That Ever Lived?
See how today’s largest creepy crawlies stack up against prehistoric behemoths.
We like big bugs and we cannot lie.
So when our friend Doug Rhodehamel wondered, “What’s the largest insect that ever lived?” Weird Animal Question of the Week went hunting for giants, past and present.
We found some ancient behemoths, some lovely ones, and some that could pass for Halloween decorations.
Imagine a dragonfly so big its wings could block your 27-inch TV screen.
The largest insect fossils ever found are griffinflies and giant dragonflies, says Matthew Clapham, a paleobiologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Subtle anatomical differences separated the two groups.
With wingspans that could reach 27 inches, the largest known insects of all time are griffinflies from the genus Meganeuropsis, Clapham says via email. The largest of their fossils