Australia’s Giant, Venomous Lizard Gets Downsized

From time to  time, I've been accused of being a fossil killjoy. I pulverize childhood dreams like Diatryma crushed seeds (and not little horses). I'm not sure how true that is. I've yet to quantify how much of my writing destroys dreams versus geeking out over new discoveries. But today I have to own up to being a downer. In case you hadn't heard, Australia's extinct, giant monitor lizard wasn't as monstrous as traditionally thought.

In 1858, when paleontology was still a young science, the anatomist Richard Owen read a paper before London's Royal Society on some astonishingly large lizard bones that had been collected ...

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