Day 295: Giant Insects

“You have to use your imagination to picture these creatures – straight from a horror movie. There were 9-foot long millipede-like monsters, and dragonflies with wingspans of nearly two and a half feet. But why didn’t these giant insects survive to present times? There are two main reasons. One is that our atmosphere has changed. When the giant insects were around – 350-50 million years ago – during Earth’s Carboniferous and early Permian period – our planet was warmer, moister, and contained more oxygen. Back then, the atmosphere contained over 30 percent oxygen, compared to today’s air, which is made up of 21 percent oxygen. Oxygen levels are especially important for insects because they don’t have lungs. Instead, they rely on air flowing through a series of opening across their bodies called spiracles, that connect directly to the tissues that need oxygen.” To read more click here

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