Meganeura was a genus of giant insects from the Carboniferous period. It is part of an extinct group called Griffinflies. The largest species, Meganeura monyi, had a wingspan of 2 ft (60 centimeters), therefore it was the biggest flying insect in the Carboniferous. The largest flying insect to have ever lived is the Meganeuropsis, which had a wingspan of up to 2.3 ft (71 centimeters). Meganeura were predatory, feeding on other insects and even small amphibians. They were similar in appearance and behaviour to modern damselflies and dragonflies.
A giant dragonfly that may have been Meganeura was featured briefly in the novel version of Jurassic Park.
In the chapter Dawn of the Jurassic Park novel Alan, Lex and Tim encounter "two giant red dragonflies with six-foot (180 cm) wingspans. When Lex asks what they are, Grant answers: "Dragonflies. The Jurassic was a time of huge insects." The species of the creatures is unclear. It could be Meganeura, but they were extinct before the Jurassic.
Meganeuras might have been free roaming creatures in the Park, but they are only seen in the Sauropod Paddock. They aren't counted or followed by the control system like the dinosaurs. This is possibly because they may not have been intended as park attractions like the dinosaurs, but were added simply to enhance the prehistoric feel of the park's atmosphere, since Meganeura are most likely mean no harm to humans.
It is unknown how they were created. Maybe InGen simply altered modern dragonflies, or they gained DNA from Meganeura parts in amber.
Giant dragonflies appear in Return to Jurassic Park VIII. They might be Meganeura, but it's uncertain.
- Meganeura is one of the Carnivore Ones that can be created from paleo-DNA in the game Jurassic Park III: Park Builder.