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Giant Killer Lizards Lived Among Ice-Age Aussies

A little bone from underneath a lizard’s skin has helped sketched a new design of life for a initial humans vital in Australia during a final ice age.

In short, there was a beast in their midst, one that could have grown to roughly 20 feet long.

A investigate group from a University of Queensland (UQ) unclosed a 0.4-inch (1-centimeter) osteoderm — a bone found underneath a skin — usually 6.5 feet (2 meters) next belligerent during a puncture in a cave. It’s a youngest record of hulk lizards in Australia and outlines a initial justification that outrageous apex-predator lizards and a continent’s initial humans lived during a same time.

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UQ paleontologist Gilbert Price and his group date a bone to about 50,000 years ago, that matches adult with a attainment on stage of a country’s initial Aboriginal people.

“Our jaws dropped,” Price pronounced in a press release. “The find is flattering significant, generally for a time-frame that it dates.”

Australia was home to outrageous lizards and even 27-foot-long (8.2-meter) crocodiles during a final ice age. But their after disappearance has not been conclusively pinned on humans.

“It’s been long-debated either or not humans or meridian change knocked off a hulk lizards, alongside a rest of a megafauna,” Price explained. “Humans can usually now be deliberate as intensity drivers of their extinction.”

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Of course, a pivotal doubt remains. What quadruped owned a bone a researchers found?

“We can’t tell if a bone is from a Komodo dragon, that once roamed Australia, or an even bigger class like a archaic Megalania guard lizard, that weighed about 500 kilograms [1,102 pounds] and grew adult to 6 meters [19.7 feet] long,” Price said.

Today, a scientists note, a biggest lizard in Australia is a perentie, that maxes out during about 6.5 feet long.

The bone Price and his group found was unearthed during a puncture inside one of a Capricorn Caves nearby Rockhampton, in northeastern Australia.

Price and his colleagues have published their commentary in a biography Quaternary Science Reviews.

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