Megalania pic

The Megalania



The megalania was a very large and extremely dangerous monitor lizard that was one of many megafaunal predators to inhabit Australia. It would have competed with the terrestrial crocodile Quinkana, the leopard-sized catlike marsupial Thylacoleo, and the giant flightless bird Genyornis, among other giant carnviores. The Megalania was estimated to have a length of around 25 feet, and weigh 2500 kilograms, or 5,500 pounds. The largest Megalania could kill Diprotodon, the largest animal in Australia at the time. Like modern day Komodo dragons, it has been proposed that Megalania could have been venemous.

The life of Megalania

Megalania lived during the Pleistocene era and died out around 40,000 BC. There were several causes of the extinction of the Megalania. One cause was due to the prey of Megalania becoming faster and better able to escape Megalania. Another cause was early humans burning the landscape of prehistoric Australia, which not only killed off many Megalania directly, but also caused large swaths of vine jungles to disappear and be replaced by open grasslands. Without the dense vegetation in which to ambush its prey (which was now limited to mostly fast hopping kangaroos), Megalania was doomed to extinction. The last megalanias seem to have disappeared around 40,000 years ago, although there are some claims that they survived until 20,000 years ago.

The devil dragon

Early man encountering Megalania

Modern day

Megalania still has many close relatives still living today. Megalania would be fairly easy to regenarate due to many closely related species not becoming extinct yet. It is possible that some Megalania still inhabit some remote areas of the Australian outback, as reports of seeing Megalania still occur today. Even if Megalania is extinct, it will be remembered as one of the most deadly threats to ancient man.

Megalania wiki pic

The size of Megalania compared to that of a modern man