South America, Santana Formation (Crato) - Ceara, Brazil, Lower Cretaceous period, ca. 110 million years ago. A stunning Lower Cretaceous fossil featuring a superbly preserved prehistoric dragonfly of the type Araripephlebia mirabilis. Not to be confused with a damselfly or lacewing, this is a true dragonfly. Unlike many insect fossils that are nothing more than a crude body impression with detail carved and painted on the rock artificially, you can clearly see very rare detail in the stone. Wing vein detail is remarkable with original pigment throughout the wings and body, including black spots on the wing tips. Giant insects ruled the prehistoric skies, able to evolve to such massive sizes because the atmosphere was extremely rich in oxygen, allowing them to take in more of it through the tiny tubes that they use instead of lungs. Size: 6.5" W x 5" H (16.5 cm x 12.7 cm)
Provenance: acquired in 2010 from a US collector
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