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determined a range of potential sizes for megalania, made by scaling up from dorsal vertebrae, after he determined a relationship between dorsal vertebrae width and total body length.
If it had a long thin tail like the lace monitor (Varanus varius), then it would have reached a length of 7.9 metres (26 ft), while if its tail-to-body proportions were more similar to that of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), then a length of around 7 m (23 ft) is more likely.
In addition a research study which examined the morphology of nine closely related extant varanid lizards and then allometrically scaled and compared it to v.
prisca found that the musculature of the limbs, posture, muscular mass, and possible muscular composition of the animal would most likely be inefficient to out run the early humans settlers that would colonize Australia during that time period.
Along with other varanid lizards, such as the Komodo dragon and the lace monitor, megalania belongs to the proposed clade Toxicofera, which contains all known reptile clades possessing toxin-secreting oral glands, as well as their close, non-venomous relatives, including Iguania, Anguimorpha, and Serpentes.
Closely related varanids use a potent venom found in glands inside the jaw.
However, Molnar noted that "megalania" is suitable for use as a vernacular, rather than scientific name, for the species Varanus priscus.
The venom in these lizards have been shown to be a hemotoxin.