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Re: CRETACEOUS VARANIDS




On Tue, 9 Dec 1997, Paul Willis wrote:

> >First off, amusing names.. the Aussie snake _Montypythonoides_. I
> >don't have the literature with me, but I recall that this one is now
> >thought to be a synonym of _Wonambi naracoortensis_ (am I right
> >Paul?).
> 
> No (you must be getting rusty after your recent absence!). It's been
> synonomised with Liasis, the olive pythons.
> 

Bzzt. Getting closer but still not quite right. Montypythonoides
riversleighensis was synonymised with Morelia spilota (the carpet python)
by Kluge. It was the other Miocene pythonine, Morelia antiquus from
Bullock Creek, that was
synonymised with Liasis olivaceous, the olive python. Kluge found that
he could not distinguish Montypythonoides from either Morelia spilota or
M. amythestina but opted for synonymy with M. spilota because the fossils
occur within the present range of M. spilota. This seems to be very weak
reasoning (geographical ranges could change quite a bit in 25-30 ma) and a
designation of Morelia sp. indet. would seem the most sensible for the
Montypythonoides remains.
To actually mention dinosaurs in this post, I will just add a minor
correction to George's post about mimicry in ankylosaurids. The correct
title of the Journal is "Records of the South Australian Museum".


cheers 

Adam