Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Fossil history

Fossils in a cave system.

Fossils in a cave system.

  • Insects have been around for at least 380 million years, before even the dinosaurs!
  • We know about these ancient insects from fossils.
  • Some of these extinct forms were very large indeed:
    • a group of insects called palaeodictyopterans, which looked like giant cockroaches and lived about 250 million years ago, had wingspans up to 56 cm!
    • even larger were the giant dragonflies that lived at the same time; these had wingspans up to 71 cm!