Butterflies of the World ... Introduction ... Butterflies and moths
Butterflies (1) evolved at the time of the giant dinosaurs (2). They probably evolved later than other groups of insects like this dragonfly, preserved as a fossil (3) because the adults mostly rely on flowering plants for their food supply, and flowers and butterflies may well have evolved over the same time span. Although butterfly fossils are not known, dragonfly fossils from the Jurassic period are quite common. As prehistoric dragonflies had a wing span of up to 30 inches, butterflies of the same period may also have been huge.

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