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Isla MuertaEdit

Megalania

Illustration by Hellraptor of JPLegacy

Length: 22 feet (males) 20 feet (females)
Height: 4 feet (males) 3 feet (females)
Weight: 1,400 pounds

Megalania is capable of swimming between Muerta and Sorna.


Coloration:

Adult (both sexes): Dark brown on the back reaching over the eyes. cream color on the underbelly and top of head.
Juvenile (both sexes): A dappled brown, similar to deer fawns.

Diet: Large and small animals. Megalania is a top predator of Isla Muerte and it typically preys on smaller animals roughly the size of a dog or sheep. However, it will take on rhinoceros-sized prey when hungry enough and will even take on creatures the size of elephants in times of drought or famine.

Social structure: Solitary, only coming together to mate or during feeding frenzies.

Preferred habitat: From grasslands to upland forests.


Megalania is closely related to the much smaller Komodo dragon and other similar monitor lizards. It combines a toxic bacteria in its mouth with potent venom to give its prey little chance of survival once a bite has been delivered. This massive monitor lizard does not usually fight with its prey - it just bites and lets the victim succumb to venom and infection.

Megalania typically basks on large boulders during the early morning, using its dark coloration to soak up as much sunlight as possible for a day of hunting. Megalania often travels between Muerta and Sorna, swimming in the sea to reach the islands in search of suitable hunting grounds. Although Sorna has larger predators, its bountiful harvest of prey often lures Megalania inland. Muerta, however, usually has easier prey, but its fierce competition between the island's overabundance of predators means there is less food to go around and only the fiercest and biggest predators get their fair share.

Males fight for females by standing up and wrestling each other to the ground, similarly to Komodo dragons. Also like the dragons, Megalania is often cannibalistic, with females willing to eat her own young to weed out the weaklings. The young Megalania spend most of their time in trees to avoid being eaten by the voracious adults as well as Muerta's other predators.

Another similarity to the Komodo dragons is the Megalania's hate for dung. While eating, Megalania always cleans out the intestines of its prey, making sure that no dung is left inside, by shaking them around. Oftentimes, when there are enough lizards in the area, they will all go into a feeding frenzy on a large kill, piling on top of each other, eating bone, hoof, fur, skin, horn, and teeth. The reptiles sustain serious injuries from these frenzies as they can often mistake a living lizard as food, biting and scratching each other, passing on their infectious bacteria and venom into the bodies of other Megalania. This causes very little harm to the animals, however, because these lizards posses an incredible healing factor and recover very quickly from disease and injury, able to even lose a limb and still function well.

Megalania is capable of standing on its hind legs, using its tail for balance, in order to either scan its surroundings or intimidate opponents. When threatened it will bite, scratch, and lash out with its tail.

GalleryEdit

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