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Down Under Dragons by Dontknowwhattodraw94 Down Under Dragons by Dontknowwhattodraw94
Some giant monitors that roam(ed) Australia.

Bullet; Orange Varanus giganteus - Perentie

The largest modern Varanid in Australia. With an average length of about 2 meter and a maximum size of 2,5 meters it's quite a huge reptile already, but it gets beaten by water monitors, crocodile monitors and Komodo dragons in terms of size. Also they are quite slender in build which makes them good speedsters. They're good diggers too and have the habit of standing on their hindlimbs in tripod stance to have a better look of their surroundings. They also have a beautiful colour pattern.
In Dutch they're called "reuzenvaraan" which means "giant monitor lizard". A literal translation of the scientific name, but sadly, when perenties were named, we hadn't yet discovered the biggest lizard of today...

Bullet; Orange Varanus komodoensis - Komodo dragon

A maximum size of 3,1 meters and a maximum weight of over 150 kg, osteoderms beneath its skin and a venomous bite*.
Komodo dragons are the largest lizards of today and are only found on a handful of Indonesian islands. However they originated on mainland Australia and spread westwards through time. 300 000 years ago they went extinct in Australia.
They aren't a result of insular gigantism as was once thought, they were already huge when they arrived on islands such as Flores. I also heard they were actually larger on Australia which makes them a case of insular dwarfism, but can't find any sources for that. If somebody knows more, feel free to comment about it. If not, don't take that last sentence as truth yet.

Bullet; Orange Varanus priscus - "Megalania"

First known as Megalania prisca and later renamed, but everyone knows this guy as Megalania so I guess it makes a good common name.
The largest lizard ever with size estimates running up to 7 meters. However, I'm going to stick with a more conservative estimate of about 5 meters. Notice the little crest on its skull.
Megalania lived together with Komodo dragons and perenties for a while, hunting the megafauna of Pleistocene Australia before going extinct some 40 000 years ago after Homo sapiens arrived. In contrary to what some might believe it isn't possibly still alive.
Also, since this thing very likely was venomous it was the largest venomous animal to have ever lived.



*A 2006 study talks about the discovery of venom toxins in Varanidae and Iguania which means their venom had an early origin basal for snakes, iguanians and anguimorphs because those form a clade together.

Now I haven't found a phylogenetic tree yet for Mosasauridae in Squamata, but since those things are close to monitor lizards... giant venomous marine reptiles, anyone?
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:iconwhatareuthinkingbout:
that shadow is sheila laboeuf
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:iconprincetarbos:
Princetarbos Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2017
Part of me is kind of glad there extinct. Because if I saw one out in the wild, all I could say is...... youtu.be/9IiHRSBAMwU
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:icontheprimevalartist:
ThePrimevalArtist Featured By Owner Edited Jan 30, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Is that Steve Irwin, it is..it's the mighty Steve Irwin. pug scream intensifies 
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:iconwhatareuthinkingbout:
no its sheila laboeuf
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:iconjurassiczilla:
Jurassiczilla Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017  Student Artist
Is that silhouette Steve Irwin?
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yup!
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:iconjurassiczilla:
Jurassiczilla Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Student Artist
I love that guy
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017
Its good to know; both giganteus and komodo are capable of reaching megalania's size if they let evolved naturaly; maybe after humans ?
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't really understand your comment... Can you repeat?
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017
I mean with time and without humans; both of the monitor lizard species could evolve to a new megalania like species
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Depends on what prey is available. For Komodos there's not enough room to reach such a size and for perenties I don't know. You have invasive wild boar and buffalo in Australia...
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:iconwdghk:
WDGHK Featured By Owner Edited Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Something people tend to forget about large reptiles is that they have a tendency to show great variation in size, with the average member of a species growing to a more conservative size, while more raerly there will be exeptionally large individuals who reach the "maximum size" . Correct me if I`m wrong but I think this has something to do with how  reptiles never quite stop growing troughout their life, but not many live long enough to reach that maximum size.

Like how the average Nile crocodile is around 3-4 m long, but exeptionally large (and old) individuals reach 6 m, similarly many large constrictors also show this trend, and likewise Komodo dragons are typically around 2,5 m long with very few reaching 3,1 m. Maybe V.priscus was similar , averaging 4,5-5 m but with the potential to reach 6-7 m. :P (Lick) 


I can imagine a bunch of 15-17 footers going into a feeding frenzy over a Diprotodon carcass before a 23 foot veteran appers and takes ownership over the carcass.:P (Lick) 
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed, maybe those 7 meter estimates might have a bit of ground.

I wonder if hatchling V. priscus also were arboreal like Komodo dragons to limit competition with older individuals.
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
What do you think would happen if Komodos were reintroduced to their old Australian haunts?
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Probably some good wild boar population decline (I hope). Dingos aren't enough.
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
True. :iconwdghk: doesn't really agree with my support of the theory of a possible reintroduction to their old haunts, but hey, I guess to each his own. He might be right and he might not. I respect his opinion regardless. Frankly, I think they'd lessen the impact of those unwanted foxes, camels, goats, banteng, feral cats, rabbits and those nasty and rather vicious dingo-dog hybrids that are replacing the true dingos across many areas of Australia.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed, a combination of dingos and Komodo dragons might the best atm. After all Komodos are better suited in bringing down large prey like buffalo than dogs. (or at least, I think that)
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Possibly.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017
Not to mention that u like what :iconwdghk: claims, the niche of large terrestrial predator HAS NOT been filled. It hasn't fixed itself and will never be fixed until we actually recognize that it was human involvement that did the messing up.

Not to mention every single one of his arguments for why humans couldn't have caused global megafauna extinction are fully disproven (modern hunter-gatherer societies aren't good cultural analogues to humanity back then, especially since even chimpanzees can drive populations of other species into extinction)
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Who says I like his arguments? Who says I like yours? Maybe I'm just asking opinions about it all, because I want to hear as much as possible about it.
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:iconwdghk:
WDGHK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Please ,for the love of everything, just ignore acepredator, this guy has some severe issues to put it lighty. I`m not trying to attack him or anything, I`m just trying to warn people that he`s an unstable individual obssesed with the whole Pleistocene overkill theory who throws tantrums and spams people who disagree with him on that, which is why I blocked him. If you don't bealive me,  there are others who can comfirm this.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know about him being "a bit too dominant" with his views, but because I answer him it doesn't mean I agree with him. I'm just looking at what he has to say and it doesn't annoy me because he does so. There are way worse people on DA imo.
Plus, when it's not related to Pleistocene extinctions he can give some nice info about stuff. 
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2017
I know, but that guy is just plain ignoring evidence that hunter-gatherer societies (even non-human ones) can ravage the environment.
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:iconwdghk:
WDGHK Featured By Owner Edited Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Invasive species, heavy damage to the ecosystem, should never be done. :P (Lick)  
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
And yet Komodos were once native to Australia.
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:iconwdghk:
WDGHK Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah key word being "once", the Australian ecosystems  have long since adapted away from giant goannas.
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Have they? Most of the niches occupied by the big animals of the Ice Age in Australia have not been replaced. Moreover, the Perentie is still technically a giant goanna, so I don't think that's entirely true. 
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:iconwdghk:
WDGHK Featured By Owner Edited Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes they have, the old niches of mega marsupials  weren't filled, the remaining fauna simply evolved and adapted into new ecosystems from the "remains"  left following the Pleistocene extinction. If it isn't broken don't fix, this isn't the same case as something like wolves being wiped out from Yellowstone a century ago and needing to be returned to make the ecosystem work again , the Australian ecosystems fixed themselves tens of thousands of years ago so introducing alien species like the Komodo dragon would do nothing but cause damage. Invasive species do that no matter how you slice it.:P (Lick) 
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
The same could be said of the plan to return Tasmanian Devils to the mainland of Australia, but they were once native too. I would say it's debatable. Moreover, Komodos could easily serve a purpose in controlling the non-native hoofed animals like the feral pigs, horses, banteng and goats. They also probably would readily eat feral cats, foxes, camels and rabbits. 
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
But the ecosystems are broken? Kangaroo overpopulation, wild boars that don't stop multiplying, ferral cats etc. It's a situation that calls for a larger predator and dingos aren't enough even though they too shouldn't be in Australia.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017
This.
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:iconwdghk:
WDGHK Featured By Owner Edited Jan 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah people should do something about those invasive species, but by adding more invasive species they're just gonna mess up even more.

They should just call up open boar season, hunting them relentlessly till no boars are left, and they just need to continue culling kangaroos to keep the numbers in order. Keep in mind that there are no predators more effective than man. In both cases they`ll be getting huge quantities of fresh meat without endangering a species.
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(1 Reply)
:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017
The kangaroo population would probably stop overpopulating?
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
What about with people? And non-native species?
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017
One of the main reasons nonnative placentals took over Australia was that the ecosystem was incredibly unstable from having everything over 200 pounds killed off by humans...this would be a partial reverse.

Indonesians don't have much issue with dragons, so going to guess they will be fine
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
What about attacks on humans?
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017
Not that common in Indonesia and they see dragons daily.
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Good point.
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:iconluca9108:
Luca9108 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017
Looks great!
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:icongwyndor:
Gwyndor Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is it just ne or does the Homo Sapuens shadow look like Steve Irwin..?

Anyways, really nice size comparison you made there. I think many actually imagine V. priscus larger than it actually was.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is Steve Irwin :p

Yeah.
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:icongwyndor:
Gwyndor Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha, i knew it ;)
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:iconlythronax-argestes:
lythronax-argestes Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mosasaurs are closer to snakes here ;)
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the link!
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:iconceratopsia:
Ceratopsia Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool!
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconceratopsia:
Ceratopsia Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome
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:iconconstrict0r12:
Constrict0r12 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hell yes.
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:iconyutyrannus:
Yutyrannus Featured By Owner Edited Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
An important thing to note on the topic of venomous mosasaurs is that there is apparently no such thing as a truly nonvenomous snake. All snakes, even ones for which retention of venom is useless for hunting such as pythons, still have some degree of venom if only to make their bites more painful. If no snake has lost venom, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense that mosasaurs would, especially given it could be a useful defense mechanism for young individuals.
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