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Re: Varanidae Asian origin
Our results are consistent with an Asian origin of the Varanidae
> followed by a dispersal to Africa 41 (49–33) Ma, possibly via an
> Iranian route. Another major event was the dispersal of monitors to
> Australia in the Late Eocene–Oligocene 32 (39–26) Ma.
These dates look extremely old to me. I'll have to see the calibration
dates. The fact that the last author is S. Blair Hedges doesn't instill
a lot of confidence in that respect.
Also, by "Varanidae" they mean the crown group of *Varanus*; all extant
varanid species, which means at least 70 of them, plus others of up to
Miocene age (at least), are still lumped as *Varanus*.