Cryptid Wiki
Cryptid Wiki
Scientific Classification
Varanus priscus BW














?Megalania, ?Varanus


?M.prisca, ?V.priscus

The Megalania (Megalania prisca or Varanus priscus) was a giant monitor lizard that inhabited Australia during the Pleistocene era (~2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago). This is the largest terrestrial lizard to have existed, it was 35ft or more in length and weighed up to 8,300 pounds. This creature along with other reptiles that possess toxin-secreting oral glands belong to the proposed clade Toxicofera. Fossil remains show that this creature lived from about 2 million years ago to as recently as 23,000 years ago. This would have brought the early aboriginal settlers of Australia into contact with this huge carnivore.

These early encounters between humans and Megalania Prisca would have been terrifying. Aboriginal cave paintings depict a reptilian creature that is much larger than a human. Some depict stories of reptiles that brought fire and destruction with them. Many of these cave paintings are thought to be less than 10,000 years old.


Size comparison with a bus

Author and journalist Peter Hancock is an expert on the Aboriginal legends of Megalania Prisca. He relates one story of a Megalania that wandered into the ocean. The Megalania is attacked by a great white shark. The Megalania kills the shark and drags it to shore. Hancock notes that it is strange that these stories and paintings are so fresh with Aborigines tens of thousands of years after Megalania Prisca supposedly went extinct.

Author and Cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy believes that the stories are fresh with the Aborigines because Megalania Prisca has not gone extinct. He relates the story of how the Australian town of Euroa was terrorized by a giant lizard in 1890. The story tells of a 30 foot reptile raiding farms and killing livestock. Many eyewitnesses reportedly saw the creature before it retreated back into the bush.


Gilroy has chronicled some more modern Megalania Prisca sightings. In Alice Springs, a group of aborigines reported seeing a giant reptile come through their camp. Another sighting by a scout master and boy scouts reports a 22 foot long lizard.

One Megalania sighting did yield some proof. In the winter of 1979, Gilroy received a call from a farmer in Moruya. This farmer reported seeing a 20 foot long lizard that left tracks. Gilroy was able to make a plaster cast of one of the tracks. In January of 2008, Gilroy found additional tracks on a forest trail about 185 miles from Moruya. He made a cast of these lizard-like tracks and found them to be very similar to the tracks from 1979.

Most experts do not believe that these Megalania sightings are real. John Long is a paleontologist with the Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. He believes that in order to survive Megalania Prisca would need to have a large breeding population that would be hard to hide.


A recent discovery with Megalania's cousin, the Komodo dragon, may provide a possible solution to the large breeding population problem. In 2006, it was discovered that Komodo dragons could reproduce through a process known as parthenogenesis. Through this process, unfertilized eggs laid by a female can incubate and hatch with no interaction with a male Komodo dragon. It is theorized that this helps the species survive in isolated areas. This process will only work for one generation as only male hatchlings are produced in this manner. It does, however, show that the size of a viable breeding population of Megalania may be much smaller than previously believed.

Some believe that the giant lizard sightings may be attributed the presence of a giant Komodo dragon. The Komodo dragons of Indonesia are the largest known lizards in existence today. They can reach a length of up to 11 feet and weigh up to 370 pounds. They are dangerous carnivores with venomous saliva. They are efficient predators that have been known to attack anything including humans.

Komodo dragon attacks are becoming more common as they come into contact more often with humans. In June 2007, an eight year old boy from Komodo village was attacked and killed by a Komodo dragon. In June of 2008, a group of divers became stranded on an island and were attacked by a group of Komodo dragons. Known Komodo dragons are intimidating but some believe that there could be giant Komodo dragons in the wild.

If an unknown giant lizard was going to be found, Indonesia would be a good possible location. Indonesia is made up of 17,508 islands with only about 6,000 of them inhabited. The Komodo dragon remained hidden to western eyes until 1910. Dutch administrator Lt. van Hensbrock was investigating reports of a 20 foot lizard when he became the first westerner to encounter the Komodo dragon.

Trooper Walsh is a retired biologist from the Smithsonian National Zoo and an expert on Komodo dragons. He believes that Megalania Prisca and the Komodo dragon probably shared a common ancestor. Walsh also notes that this type of lizard can mutate and adapt quickly. He believes that a much larger version of a Komodo dragon could evolve in a few generations.


-In Lost Tapes, the Megalania goes after a man making a survival show in Australia in The episode Devil Dragon.

- The Megalania was added to Jurassic Park Builder in their Ice Age update