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    Sky Hunters: The World of the Dragonfly
    
Tuesday, October 18 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

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Sky Hunters: The World of the Dragonfly
By April Gaydos

The beginning of autumn
decided by
the red dragonfly.

Haiku by Shirao

More than 248 million years ago, before birds existed, even before dinosaurs, when amphibians were the dominant life form, a mighty dragonfly governed the skies. With a wingspan of almost two and half feet, these sky hunters could beat their wings independently, change course 180 degrees in a flash and hover like a helicopter. Their modern day descendants, the Odonatas, which include over 5,000 species of dragonflies and damselflies, retain nearly all of the remarkable characteristics of their ancient relatives, except for their size. While still quite large for an insect, dragonflies are one of the few insect species that rather than being abhorred or ignored are actually revered by many cultures. They populate legends of early civilizations around the world - from the North American cultures of the Maya, Aztecs and American Indians to Africa, India and the Far East, most notably Japan. It is said that Japan's reverence for these creatures dates back to the mythical founder, Emperor Jinmu, who was bitten by a mosquito, which was then eaten by a dragonfly. The red dragonfly is especially honored in Japan as a symbol of autumn.

Coincidently my attention has lately been drawn to the presence of dragonflies and damselflies while kayaking on the Presa Allende and observing them in my own garden. The other evening at dusk I saw 30 or more of these fantastic mosquito eaters flying above a friend's garden. So it seems fitting that on a fall afternoon in October Audubon's Nature Matter presentation investigates these fascinating creatures of the air through the award-winning film Sky Hunters, the World of Dragonflies.

Through the power of computer generated imagery, Sky Hunters takes us back to the very beginnings of dragonfly time and into the carboniferous and gingko forests of hundreds of millions of years ago. Returning to today's time, digital cinematography and super slow motion techniques provide us with an amazing point of view of every stage of development, from egg to its final stage as a "jewel of the air". Underwater time lapse photography reveals the development of the voracious dragonfly larvae and its metamorphosis to a terrestrial adult.

Sky Hunters is both a visual pleasure and an educational experience that helps to explain the natural history of dragonflies and damselflies, without diminishing our sense of wonder over these magnificent life forms.

We invite you to join us on the 18th of October at 1:30 pm at El Nigromante/Bellas Artes for this film and a short presentation on a few of our common Odonata residents that includes photos and a discussion of their characteristics that will help you identify them in the field.



Audubon de Mexico Nature Matters Film Presentation
Sky Hunters: The World of the Dragonfly
Tuesday, October 18 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
El Nigromante, Bellas Artes, M. Malo Auditorio
Hernández Macías 75
audubondemexico@gmail.com
70 Pesos (Audubon Members Free)




 

 

 
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