Facts about Varanus Priscus, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Varanus Priscus

Varanus Priscus



Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Order Squamata
  Suborder Scleroglossa
  Infraorder Platynota
  Superfamily Varanoidea
  Family Varanidae
  Order Varanus
  Species Varanus priscus
Varanus priscus (almost always known as "Megalania", although this is not the correct scientific name - see below) was a giant monitor lizard that lived in Australia, between about 1.6 million and 40,000 years ago. It may well have been encountered by early aboriginal people when they first arrived in Australia.

No complete fossil skeletons of Megalania have yet been found, so there is still considerable debate about the animal's size. Some estimates say the largest individuals could have been 23 feet (7 meters) long, whereas others put an upper limit of around 15 feet (4.5 meters). In any case, Megalania is the largest terrestrial lizard known, and probably fed on animals such Diprotodon.

The name "Megalania" was chosen by Sir Richard Owen in 1859, he called the species "Megalania prisca" which means "ancient great roamer". However today, "Megalania" is considered to be a synonym for "Varanus" (the genus containing monitor lizards), and because "Varanus" was coined first, this name takes priority. Additionally, since "Varanus" is masculine, whereas "Megalania" is femine, the word "prisca" needs to change to "priscus", and thus the correct name of the species is "Varanus priscus".

Although Megalania is generally considered to be extinct, some cryptozoologists (people who search for rumored animals whose existence is uncertain), claim that it is possible that there might be a small surviving population in the wilderness areas of New Guinea or Australia.

Varanus Priscus Timeline:



Varanus priscus were giant monitor lizards that lived in Australia between 1.6 million and 40,000 years ago

Varanus priscus were giant monitor lizards that lived in Australia between 1.6 million and 40,000 years ago


Related Information & Resources


See Also

Megalania Books


Here are some books from Amazon.com:

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Dragons in the Dust: The Paleobiology of the Giant Monitor Lizard Megalania
By Ralph E. Molnar

Indiana University Press
Released: March 30th, 2004
Hardcover (224 pages)

Dragons in the Dust: The Paleobiology of the Giant Monitor Lizard Megalania
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Description:
Dragons in the Dust: The Paleobiology of the Giant Monitor Lizard Megalania
  • Manufacturer: Indiana University Press
  • ISBN: 0253343747
  • EAN: 9780253343741
  • PartNumber: Illustrated
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 224
  • Author: Ralph E. Molnar
  • Publication Date: March 30th, 2004
  • Release Date: March 30th, 2004
Physical Description:
  • Size: 10.1 Inches by 7.3 Inches by 0.9 Inches
  • Weight: 1.49032489112 Pounds
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Megalania (Volume 1)
By Travis Kerr

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Released: April 10th, 2014
Paperback (516 pages)

Megalania (Volume 1)
Lowest New Price: $14.99*
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Description:
Megalania (Volume 1)
  • Manufacturer: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • ISBN: 1533066493
  • EAN: 9781533066497
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: 2
  • Number of Pages: 516
  • Author: Travis Kerr
  • Publication Date: April 10th, 2014
  • Release Date: April 10th, 2014
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.0 Inches by 5.0 Inches by 1.29 Inches
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Megalania (Vile Beasts Series)
By Robert Forrester

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Released: January 18th, 2015
Paperback (266 pages)

Megalania (Vile Beasts Series)
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Description:
Megalania (Vile Beasts Series)
  • Manufacturer: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • ISBN: 1507598173
  • EAN: 9781507598177
  • PartNumber: black & white illustrations
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: 1
  • Number of Pages: 266
  • Author: Robert Forrester
  • Publication Date: January 18th, 2015
  • Release Date: January 18th, 2015
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.0 Inches by 5.0 Inches by 0.6 Inches
  • Weight: 0.59 Pounds
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Description of some Remains of a Gigantic Land-Lizard (Megalania Prisca, Ow.) from Australia. A rare original article from the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1857.
By Professor R. Owen.

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1857, Vol 9.
Paperback

Description of some Remains of a Gigantic Land-Lizard (Megalania Prisca, Ow.) from Australia. A rare original article from the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1857.
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Description:
Description of some Remains of a Gigantic Land-Lizard (Megalania Prisca, Ow.) from Australia. A rare original article from the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1857.
  • Manufacturer: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1857, Vol 9.
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: First Edition
  • Author: Professor R. Owen.
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Sascha Martin's Time Machine: A Kids' Scifi Adventure That Will Have You in Stitches. It's Funny, Too (Sascha Martin's Misadventures)
By John Arthur Nichol

John Arthur Nichol
Released: December 2nd, 2019
Paperback (60 pages)

Sascha Martin s Time Machine: A Kids  Scifi Adventure That Will Have You in Stitches. It s Funny, Too (Sascha Martin s Misadventures)
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Sascha Martin's Time Machine: A Kids' Scifi Adventure That Will Have You in Stitches. It's Funny, Too (Sascha Martin's Misadventures)
  • Manufacturer: John Arthur Nichol
  • ISBN: 0995418357
  • EAN: 9780995418356
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 60
  • Author: John Arthur Nichol
  • Publication Date: December 2nd, 2019
  • Release Date: December 2nd, 2019
Physical Description:
  • Size: 10.0 Inches by 8.0 Inches by 0.16 Inches
  • Weight: 0.39903669422 Pounds
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40,000 years ago: The hunt for Thylacoleo
By James Buntine

Kindle Edition (63 pages)

40,000 years ago: The hunt for Thylacoleo
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40,000 years ago: The hunt for Thylacoleo

Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Number of Pages: 63
  • Author: James Buntine
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Flux
By Chris McInally

Severed Press
Released: January 7th, 2017
Paperback (164 pages)

Flux
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Description:
Flux
  • Manufacturer: Severed Press
  • ISBN: 192559713X
  • EAN: 9781925597134
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 164
  • Author: Chris McInally
  • Publication Date: January 7th, 2017
  • Release Date: January 7th, 2017
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.0 Inches by 6.0 Inches by 0.41 Inches
  • Weight: 0.55 Pounds
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IMMUNITY
By STEPHEN DEDMAN

Megalania Books
Kindle Edition (444 pages)

IMMUNITY
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Description:
IMMUNITY
  • Manufacturer: Megalania Books
Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Number of Pages: 444
  • Authors: STEPHEN DEDMAN, Stephen Dedman
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The Crocodile That Wasn't: An eyewitness account of an extinct monster by Australia's Aboriginal people
By Peter Hancock

Kindle Edition (62 pages)

The Crocodile That Wasn t: An eyewitness account of an extinct monster by Australia s Aboriginal people
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Description:
The Crocodile That Wasn't: An eyewitness account of an extinct monster by Australia's Aboriginal people

Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Number of Pages: 62
  • Author: Peter Hancock
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Giant Ripper Lizard (Extinct Monsters)
By Carol K. Lindeen

Brand: Capstone Press
Released: September 1st, 2007
Library Binding (32 pages)

Giant Ripper Lizard (Extinct Monsters)
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Description:
Giant Ripper Lizard (Extinct Monsters)
  • Manufacturer: Capstone Press
  • Brand: Brand: Capstone Press
  • ISBN: 1429601159
  • EAN: 9781429601153
Details:
  • Product Category: Library Binding
  • Number of Pages: 32
  • Author: Carol K. Lindeen
  • Publication Date: September 1st, 2007
  • Release Date: September 1st, 2007
Physical Description:
  • Size: 8.99999999082 Inches by 6.99999999286 Inches by 0.31102362173 Inches
  • Weight: 0.59 Pounds
Features:
  • Used Book in Good Condition
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