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Re: Megalania question - DNA



Jura writes:

--- On Mon, 6/2/08, Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:
More recent estimates put an adult Megalania at around 4.5m
long and between 300 to 400kg in weight.
http://www.bio.usyd.edu.au/staff/swroe/Wroe2002review.pdf

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Actually, the most recent _Megalania_ work would be that of Ralph Molnar.

http://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Dust-Paleobiology-Monitor-Megalania/dp/0253343747/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212464582&sr=8-1

Dr. Molnar found 320kg to be about the average size of the _Megalania_ specimens currently known, with the largest individuals hitting 7 meters and 920kg.

Total length estimates in particular will depend largely on the length of the tail, which lacking any complete fossil specimens will usually be conjecture. Mass is probably a better way of comparing 'size', since a tail ending with a long thing whip-like structure won't increase the mass much, but could potentially add a metre or three to the total length.


Earlier one-tonne-plus mass estimates (Auffenberg gave the heaviest, at 2.2 tonnes) were almost certainly incorrect. I haven't read Molnar's book, but I'd be interested to know which specimens gave the 7m length estimate. Hecht gave a similar length estimate in 1975, which he extrapolated from a single phalanx!

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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com
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