The 300-million-year-old dragonfly is often saddled with the pejorative “primitive” simply because it is “paleopterous,” or ancient-winged, still bearing its ancestral features. Whereas more recently evolved insects, such as bees and flies, can beat their wings extremely fast and fold them flat over their backs (allowing them to crawl into restricted places), the dragonfly cannot. But so what? It flies circles around these more “advanced” critters and, in fact, eats them for lunch. Like another proficient prehistoric predator, the great white shark, the dragonfly evolved early and excelled.