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For me, one of the most interesting aspects of Upper Cretaceous terrestrial
faunal interaction is that between varanid lizards and dinosaurs. It's always
been a fair guess that varanids would have eaten dinosaur eggs if they could,
and this is certainly backed up by the presence of these animals at maiasaur and
_Orodromeus_ nesting colonies. Modern varanids are a problem for crocodiles,
ground nesting shorebirds, and various tree-nesting birds.
Without having consulted Fossil Record II to find out for sure, I'm guessing
varanids appeared in the Lower Cretaceous. Is there a more up-dated list of
Cretaceous taxa than Carroll? Such a shame that other taxa don't get the kind
of treatment dinosaurs do (e.g. see George Olshevsky's MM!).
Amongst the larger late Cret varanids, I have encountered the name _Parasaniwa_
in the technical lit. In 'All new dinosaurs and their friends', Welles and Long
discuss _Paleosaniwa_. Are these really different critters, or is there some
kind of freudian slip at work? I'd like to see _Paleosaniwa_ in a technical
publication. Many thanks for assistance.
"The fern owls are chirring, and Mary F will have the last laugh!"