Smaller than a Microraptor!

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Meiolania brevicollis
An artist's illustration of Meiolania brevicollis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Family: Meiolaniidae
Genus: Meiolania
Owen, 1886
Type species
Meiolania platyceps
Owen, 1886
Referred species
  • Meiolania brevicollis (Megirian, D. 1992)
  • Meiolania damelipi (White et al., 2010)
  • Meiolania mackayi (Anderson, C., 1925)
  • Meiolania platyceps (Owen, 1886)
  • Miolania
  • Ceratochelys

Meiolania ("lesser roamer" or "lesser butcher") is an extinct genus of stem-turtle from the Middle Miocene to the Holocene, with the last relict populations at New Caledonia which survived until 2,000 years ago. The animal was rather large, measuring 66.1 centimetres (26 inches) in height. It lived in Australia and New Caledonia, though remains have also been found on the island of Efate in Vanatu, associated with settlements from the Lapita culture. Meiolania fed on various herbaceous plants. The Meiolania specimens which were once living on New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island were much smaller than their giant relatives from the Australian continent. When the first fossil remains (a vertebra) were found, they were originally thought to be from a large monitor lizard, similar to, but smaller than Megalania (Varanus priscus), so the genus was named accordingly. Later, when more remains were found, it was realized that the "lesser roamer" was actually a turtle, and not a lizard.

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  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316514774