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Re: Dominant Mesozoic varanids?



At 12:49 PM 12/5/97 PST, you wrote:
>Were there any varanids in the Mesozoic comparable in size to Megalania 
>prisca (or was that grand fellow a Meganesian fluke)?  If so, where have 
>they been found and when did they live?  Is there any evidence to 
>indicate that, in certain special environments (islands), lizards may 
>have been the top predators as they were in Pleistocene "Australia," 
>despite the presence of dinosaurs (I'm talking post-Triassic, of 
>course)?  

No evidence of trans-V. komodoensis sized varanids that I know of in the
Cretaceous.  Paleosaniwa seems to be pretty big (ora-sized), but nothing
larger (on land: mosasaurs being somewhat larger... :-)

"Megalania" (which some lizard workers are suggesting is simply a species of
Varanus) seems to be a "Meganesian fluke" (sounds likes something that will
give you a serious intenstinal disease!).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661