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History of insect body size
Clapham, Matthew E. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, California.
- Factors affecting insect body size
- Further role of oxygen
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Insects are the most successful animal group, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all described species and occupying pivotal roles in many terrestrial ecosystems. The body sizes of living insects also span an enormous range, from 0.15-mm-long (0.006-in.-long) mymarid wasps (known as fairyflies) to the Atlas moth with its wingspan of nearly 30 cm (12 in.). Even larger extinct insects such as Meganeura and other extinct relatives of dragonflies (sometimes called “griffinflies”) have been discovered. The factors that permitted them to reach such enormous wingspans [up to 70 cm (28 in.), as large as a modern crow] have been the subject of great interest.
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