Dragonflies have very ancient origins and fossils have been found of dragonflies which are up to 300million years old-long before the dinosaurs appeared on the earth.
The ancient dragonflies were huge, with wingspans of up to 30 inches [75cm]
The dragonflies in these photos are very small by comparison - the wingspan is only about 2inches [around 6cm]
They are darter dragonflies [meadowhawks in the US] -Sympetrum species but I'm not sure exactly what kind they are.
Close up , dragonflies look very mechanical with the intricate arrangements of wings and giant eyes.
The wings can look like leaded glass if the sun catches them at the right angle. The dragonfly motif was common in Art Nouveau especially in jewelery and stained glass work.
This is a close view of the legs, showing the bristles and hooked, grasping feet. When dragonflies are hunting, they use the hooks and bristled legs as a trap to snare flying insects.
They can catch insects as large as butterflies and they are beneficial to humans because they eat a lot of harmful insects.
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