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Re: Meglania weighed only 1 tonne (long)



Why do I love thee? Shall I count the ways?

>First, I did not say that a 5.5 m Meglania weighed 1 tonne, I did use the
>mount to determine the approximate volume of the lizard at any given length.
>Second, Hecht estimated that a 7 m Meglania weighed 700 kg, and he could be
>correct. Third, I did not use a tyrannosaur as a model to restore the
>monitor. I did use the tyrannosaur for cross comparison, it is a basic way of
>checking whether various mass estimates are realistic. Fourth, I cannot use
>any new remains to estimate the lizard's mass lacking firm data. Vague
>assertions that the bones
> are 1.5 times bigger leaves one wondering, 1.5 times bigger than what? Hard
>measurements are required. Last but not least, I am not aware of a new model
>showing Meglania weighed 2 tonnes yet.



Firstly, sorry, for the delay in replying to this post, but I have been to
a Quaternary conference in Wellington Caves (that's right, actually in the
caves themselves). Secondly, while there we found another Megalania
vertebra. Size estimates are a little diffficult at this stage but in the
vacinity of "big bastard" should be about right. Thirdly, while conversing
with other palaeoherpos at the conference (Ralph Molnar, John Scanlon and
Steve Salisbury) we all concluded that the more recent material of
Megalania is significantly larger than the largest stuff that Max got to
look at in 1975 and that weight estimates between 1-2 tonnes are about
right, possibly stretching to 2.5 tonnes for the RBBs (really big
bastards). Fourthly, no we haven't published this yet, but we are
contemplating doing so. Fifthly, and this should have gone firstly because,
concerning crocs, it is by far the most important piece of this post, Steve
described some fragments of Quinkana indicating that this terrestrial croc
grew to lengths of over 8 metres and weighed 1-2 tonnes.

I still come back to my two basic tennets: Firstly; size and weight
estimates for really big animals known only from SLPs (shitty little
pieces) should really be treated with a great deal of caution. Secondly;
new material has caused us to revise upward the size estimates of RBAs
(really big animals) such as Megalania.

This can lead to one conclusion with respect to terrestrial ectotherms in
the Plio-Pleistocene of Australia; We now recognise at least two APPTEs
(Australian Plio-Pleistocene Terrestrial Ectotherms) that reached weights
between 1-2 tonnes and that RBAs in the APPTE class (even if based on SLPs)
could have reached the ES (Enormous Size) of 2.5 tonnes. Not to mention the
FBSs (Very Big Snakes) Wonambi and Yulunggar clocking in at up to 900kg.
Yes, we will publish one day.

Lastly, where is the beer?

Cheers, Paul

pwillis@ozemail.com.au