The world of 320 million years ago was a far cry from the one we live in today. Back then, giant creatures such as dragonflies with wingspans of up to one meter (Meganeura) and centipedes as large as humans (Arthropleura) roamed the skies and land. But little by little, these imposing giants began to shrink in size before finally vanishing from the face of the Earth. So what exactly caused their disappearance?
For many years, scientists believed that the decrease in oxygen during the Carboniferous period was to blame for extinction of these creatures. After all, insects are devoid of lungs and bloodstreams so they rely on tiny holes on their bodies to get oxygen; an air composition that would be too thick for them would clog up their organs and render their limbs immobile. This theory was challenged in 2009 however when researchers discovered evidence that pointed to something else entirely.
It turns out that several other factors played a role in shrinking insects down to their current size: climate change, competition from other species, evolution, and even asteroid impacts could have been contributing factors. Now more than ever is an important time to learn about this mysterious episode in our planet’s history – a journey you can embark upon by watching the documentary “Insects: Little Giants of Ancient Times”.
This captivating film takes you through some of the most fascinating facts about ancient insects including how they used to fly using two pairs of wings instead of just one like we see today, how some species became extinct due to global warming, and why tiny hairs on certain species’ legs allowed them to detect changes in air pressure when it came time for them to take off into flight! It also delves into how evolution shaped our present-day insects through natural selection as well as examining mass migrations which occurred millions of years ago – truly a journey not be missed!