Skip to comments.New Giant Lizard: Komodo Cousin "A Nasty Piece of Work"
Posted on 10/10/2009 12:53:30 PM PDT by JoeProBono
A possible new species of giant prehistoric lizardbigger and badder than the deadly Komodo dragonmay have stalked the ancient Australian outback, a new study says.
Three fossilized bones of the mysterious 13-foot-long (4-meter-long) lizard were collected in 1966 in western Timor island, part of Indonesia.
When study leader Scott Hocknull recently examined the fossils, he was "astounded" to find that they belonged neither to the Komodo dragonthe only giant lizard species alive todaynor Megalania, a 16-foot-long (5-meter-long) extinct monster that's among the largest lizards known to have ever lived.
Giant Lizard "a Nasty Piece of Work"
The "tantalizing bones"which date to the middle of the Pleistocene epoch (1.8 million to 11,500 years ago)are unique enough that Hocknull suspects they represent a new species. But only "more fossils and time will tell," said Hocknull, senior curator of geosciences at Australia's Queensland Museum.
The newfound predator would have lived in open landscapes alongside giant tortoises, dwarf elephants, and perhaps even the extinct human ancestral species Homo erectus, Hocknull said.
Like the Komodo, the lizard would have ambushed its prey.
(Related: "Komodo Dragons Kill With Venom, Researchers Find.")
"Being a large terrestrial carnivore," he said, "it would have been quite a nasty piece of work."
Komodo Dragon Born in Australia?
The new analysis also notes that numerous Komodo dragon fossils at least 300,000 years old have recently been found in Australia. This is among the evidence that the animals originated, and evolved into their giant form, on the island continent, then radiated west to what is now Indonesia, the study says.
And though the new giant lizard has yet to be definitively identified as a new species, "one thing is for sure," Hocknull said: There were many more giant lizards in Australia than anybody knew.
Climate accounts for some of his certainty. Australia began to dry up about eight million years ago, creating a perfect environment for lizards, Hocknull said.
To keep up with the ever increasing sizes of their prey, prehistoric Australian lizards got beefier over timeculminating in the titanic Megalania.
But just as Australia's giant lizards were "on their way up in the evolutionary stake," they suddenly died out, Hocknull said.
No one knows how the sole survivor, the Komodo dragon, managed to scrape by in Indonesia yet disappeared in its Australian birthplace.
"Climate, or humans, or both?" Hocknull said. "The jury will remain out on this one for a while."
Two of the long-vanished big beasts of Pleistocene Australia, the Komodo dragon-like Megalania and a species of giant flightless bird known as Genyornis newtoni. What led to their demise? Illustration by Peter Trusler for Wildlife of Gondwana
Now thats a lizard mate!
Komodo Dragons really really love children. They make great pets for a while.
Lil Bebbeh Komodos?
Caption: “The lizard ate my BC.”
That is SO cute!
A Komodo Dragon bite Sharon Stone’s husband.
But it seems the giant lizards, unlike the fellow in the picture, were heavily feathered and when they ate fermented watery berries to cool off, they became drunk and while lounging around they were killed by the Abridgeknee peoples who still wear feathers on their heads to honor the extinct lizards.
on the ‘lost tapes’ show, someone was stalked by a very largwe creature and eaten- his video cam didn’t record the beast, but he fought it, got bit, and slowly w.as poisoned .and died .and was .consumned. supposedly-
Proto type Pit bull....just got bred down to their present size...:O)
Designer handbags...now available with feet. Next on QVC!
The “new” lizard, has been dead for 11000 years?
I’m protesting the title of this thread. False, misleading, and robbed me of my intended outcome.... A lizard that ate Nobel Prize Winners.
“We’re gonna need a bigger spear!”
If these things still existed they would be running around Florida.
Dragon’s Paradise Lost:
Komodo Dragons Most Likely Evolved In Australia, Dispersed To Indonesia
sciencedaily | Oct. 1, 2009
Posted on 10/02/2009 4:11:59 PM PDT by JoeProBono
Sue Charlton: That croc was going to eat me alive.
Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee: Well, I wouldn’t hold that against him. Same thought crossed my mind once or twice.
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
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I hate to disagree with you Joe, but THE ONE is part of the snake family, not the lizard family....
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