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Re: Meglania weighed only 1 tonne (long)



>
>        A) How long is a .9 metric tonne snake? (even a guestimate would be
>nice).

The length estimates for Wonambi reach to between 5 and 6 metres. It is a
particularly heavily built snake even for its long length.


>        B) What the heck is with your country and big reptiles? Why can't
>you just have normal mammalian predators like everybody else???
>

Do I detect a case of lizard envy here? We are not exactly sure why
Australia favoured large ectotherms as predators rather than large
endotherms, particularly during the Plio-Pleistocene. One suggestion is
that, because Australia has particularly poor soils (themselves a
consequence of lack of recent orogenies and no glacial action during the
later Tertiary and Quaternary), Australia can only support a sparce
population of herbivores that can not be effectively exploited by
high-energy, large mammalian carnivores (our largest mammalian carnivore in
the Plio-Pleistocene was Thylacoleo, the Marsupial Lion, and that was
probably around 60-90 kg). Lower-energy ectothermic carnivores, such as the
terrestrial croc Quinkana, the giant goanna Megalania and the giant
madstoiid snake Wonambi could exploit this resource.

Cheers, Paul

pwillis@ozemail.com.au