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Stenophlebia amphitrite, a Stunningly Gorgeous Dragonfly from the Upper Jurassic

David Klinghoffer

Our colleague Günter Bechly, paleontologist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, sends along two photographs he took. Take a moment and absorb the beauty of this fossil dragonfly:



Dr. Bechly explains what we’re looking at:

It is a large dragonfly of the species Stenophlebia amphitrite from the Upper Jurassic (150 mya) lithographic limestone of Solnhofen in Bavaria, which is the same locality where Archaeopteryx was found. The dragonfly has a wing span of 17 cm (and belongs with other species of the family Stenophlebiidae to an extinct suborder Stenophlebioptera that was established by me. All known species are from the Mesozoic (Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous).

When you see something like that, a creature that is so transparently a work of art, how in the world do you jump to evolutionary explanations dependent exclusively on blind churning?

Dr. Bechly tells his story, as a proponent of the theory of intelligent design, in a clip from Revolutionary: Michael Behe and the Mystery of Molecular Machines. Find it here.