[CIELO] – Masha Bo

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The guy strolls through puddles of green grass waving the wings of a dragonfly. Fractals float like a cloud under feet.

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Description

Dragonflies fly by using muscles below their exoskeleton to move their four wings independently. This allows them to hover, fly backwards, and turn suddenly. It’s the amazing agility in the air that makes them such efficient hunters.

While we may think of flight as a vital aspect of a dragonflies lifestyle, it actually only becomes possible for them once they become adults. As nymphs, they live below the surface of the water, choosing to get around by swimming rather than flying.

The all-important wings are, however, always there. They are folded neatly away into little wing buds, which sit on the dragonfly nymph’s back. It is only when the juvenile dragonflies climb out of the water for the first time and break out of their skin that they have a chance to stretch their wings.

Pulling themselves out of the husks of their old selves, dragonflies cling on and must patiently wait for their wings to expand and harden. This is a particularly dangerous time for the insect, as until the wings are thoroughly dried, they can quickly become damaged or deformed. Even a waving blade of grass could result in the dragonfly never being able to take off.

Across the dragonfly’s wings are a series of veins, making them look somewhat like a colourless stain-glass window. These are, in fact, hollow tubes, along which the dragonflies blood, hemolymph, can be pumped in order to open up and straighten the wings. Once they have solidified, the blood will stop pumping through them.

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