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Re: Fwd: Re: Dominant Mesozoic varanids?

On Sat, 6 Dec 1997, Larry Dunn wrote:

> >I didn't know about Megalania.  How big was it?
> It was really big.  Possibly twice as long as a Komodo Monitor.  The 
> Australian paleontologists apparently call it the Great Ripper in their 
> picturesque way.  

Actually we (the Australian Palaeontologists) are not responsible for that
name. Its author was none other than the English anatomist Sir Richard
Owen, you know the guy who thought up the name "Dinosauria".

> >I'm sure some smart Alec is going to say 'Mosasaurus'.
> Not so smart, actually.  That response A) totally ignores the context of 
> the question and B) skips over the fact that the mosasaur-varanid 
> connection has been called into question lately.  I believe that 
> mosasaurs are now thought to have been more closely related to snakes.

Yes but the Mosasaur-snake clade, the Pythonomorpha, is still more closely
related to Varanids than to any other living lizard group.


Adam Yates