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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Dragon Lizard Bunyips
"A few days ago I was searching in my archives for a sketch when I found my two first versions
[link] of the Bunyip (on the base of Naomi Noviks description)
I thought it was time for a new one"[this is a fictional Bunyip although still based on tradition-DD]

The "Big Goanna" Bunyip is sometimes said to stand up and walk on its hind legs, at which times it can be twice as tall as a regular human being.


The first Dreamtime creature to appear on this list, the Dirawong is a goanna (an Australian monitor lizard) Creator Being that departed knowledge and protection to the Bundjalung Nation. Comprised of 15 Aboriginal tribes, the Bundjalung believe that the Dirawong shared with them the knowledge of medicine, bush foods, astronomy, law, and cultural traditions such as dances, head gear, body designs, and songs. The Dirawong is supposed to resemble a Megalania prisca, a 7-10 meters long [~20 to 30 feet long] goanna that [supposedly] went extinct around 40,000 years ago. In addition to teaching the Bundjalung how to live and survive, the Dirawong is eternally engaged in a battle with the Creator Being known as the Rainbow Snake. The Dirawong once engaged in an epic battle with the Rainbow Snake when it had misbehaved. The resulting struggle resulted in the creation of parts of the Richmond River, Snake Island, and Pelican Island. At the end of the struggle, the Rainbow Snake made it to the ocean and became an island, supposedly New Zealand. When the Dirawong caught up with the Rainbow Snake, he laid down facing the sea to guard against its return. The Goanna Headland at Evans Head, New South Wales is believed to be the Dirawong’s physical body. The Dirawong is also believed to be associated with rain. In the Goanna Headland there is a rain cave where the Elders of the Bundjalung Nation used to go and conduct ceremonies for rain. The Dirawong continues to this day to be an important influence to the Bundjalung people. In 1985, sixteen hectares of the Goanna Headland became the first aboriginal land grant in New South Wales. The legend and history of the Dirawong is a fascinating one and can be further explored.


In the mythology of Bundjalung Nation (represented by 13 tribes), the Dirawong is a goanna that taught the people the laws by which they should live. It is known as a benevolent protector of its people (the Bundjalung Nation) from the Rainbow Snake.

Goanna Headland, at Evans Head in New South Wales (one of the most easterly point's on mainland Australia), is believed to be the body of the mythical Dirawong


Bundjalung Nation tradition tells the story about the creation of Snake Island (in the Evans River) and Goanna Headland as a fight between the Dirawong and the Rainbow Snake. According to the legend, the Rainbow Snake had been very bad. What he did is a secret, and cannot be revealed, but it was so bad that a Weeum (or clever man) called on the Dirawong to help protect a Bird from the Waugal (or Rainbow Snake). Only Dirawong was powerful enough to deal with Rainbow Snake. Dirawong chased Rainbow Snake down towards the coast and as they went they formed parts of the Richmond River. At Woodburn they left the Richmond River and kept on going east. Half-way down the Evans River, Dirawong caught Rainbow Snake, the Snake turned around and bit Goanna on the head, Dirawong then withdrew from the battle in order to eat some herbs to recover (heal) from the snakebite, when he felt better he resumed his chase. Meanwhile, Rainbow Snake had reached Evans Head. Rainbow Snake looked around. Dirawong was nowhere to be seen, so Rainbow Snake decided to go back west. The Rainbow Snake then went into the river and coiled itself around and created Snake Island. As he turned his body made another small island in the river, now known as Pelican Island.
When Rainbow Snake spotted Dirawong heading towards him, Rainbow Snake quickly turned, and this time Rainbow Snake kept going until he reached the Ocean, and made himself into an Island (Possibly the Country of New Zealand) so Dirawong wouldn't recognise Rainbow Snake. Dirawong reached the Coast. Dirawong then laid down next to the coast facing the Sea, waiting for Rainbow Snake to come back. And you can still hear Rainbow Snake and see Goanna today at Evans Head.

Physical identity of the Rainbow Snake

The Snake was quite possibly a "Wonambi naracoortensis (a non-venomous snake of five to six metres in length, or a Liasis sp., (Bluff Downs Giant Python), which grew up to ten metres long, and is the largest Australian snake known"

Physical identity of the Dirawong

The Dirawong was quite possibly a "Megalania prisca" (a carnivorous, goanna-like lizard, at least seven metres long, maybe ten metres long, and weighing up to 600 kilograms, that become extinct around 40,000 years ago.)

Physical identity of the Bird

The Bird was quite possibly a Dromornis stirtoni, (Stirton's Thunder Bird, Miocene epoch) was a flightless bird three metres tall that weighed half a tonne. It is one of the largest birds so far discovered. It inhabited subtropical open woodlands and may have been carnivorous. It was heavier than the Moa and taller than the Aepyornis.
[Dromornis might also be the origin of especially birdlike "Bunyips" when they were sighted lurking around waterholes.
Example from Eberhart: Gauarge
Mythical Freshwater Monster of Australia.
Etymology: Australian word.
Physical description: Like a featherless [Giant, not necessarily featherless-DD] emu.
Behavior: Drags bathers down into a
whirlpool. Habitat: Water holes.
Possible explanation: Folk memory or extrapolation based on fossils of an Australian theropod dinosaur such as Kakuru, which lived in the Early Cretaceous, 110 million years ago, in South Australia.[A living animal is more likely than a native reconstruction and the fossil is from the wrong part of Australia-DD]
Sources: Gilbert Whitley, “Mystery Animals of Australia,” Australian Museum Magazine
(1940): 132–139; Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track of Unknown Animals (New York:
Hill and Wang, 1958), pp. 193–194.]

Interpretation of the creation myth

Why did the Dirawong withdraw from the battle with Rainbow Snake in order to recover? "As Socrates explains in the Laches, standing firm in battle cannot be courage, for sometimes standing firm in battle is simply a foolish endurance that puts oneself and others at needless risk. The courageous person can recognize when it is reasonable to stand one's ground in battle and when it isn't." What virtuous traits of character is the Dirawong showing when it withdrew from the battle with Rainbow Snake in order to recover? The Dirawong is showing in its action of withdrawing, that having (from a spiritual and psychological perspective) the right motives, aims, concerns, and perspective is more important then the tactical battle. The Dirawong's motives were: to get help for its wounds (survive), to survey (location) where the rainbow snake went, concern for the bird (family); it knew that the Rainbow Snake may have won that day's battle, and in the future they will work together to create more land and rivers on other planets. See also


Australian Giant Monitor
Unknown LIZARD of Australia. Variant names: Burrunjor (in Northern Terri- tory), Mungoon-galli, Murra murri (in the Blue Mountains), Whowie (in Riverina). Physical description: Length, 20–30 feet or more. Behavior: Attacks cattle. Distribution: Northern New South Wales; Arnhem Land, Northern Territory; Cape York, Queensland. Significant sightings: In 1975, a group of bushwalkers found large tracks and tail marks at the edge of the Wallangambe Wilderness in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. On December 27, 1975, a farmer near Cess- nock, New South Wales, saw a bulky, 30-foot monitor lizard moving through scrub brush. It was mottled gray in color, with dark stripes along the back and tail, and stood 3 feet off the ground. In early 1979, herpetologist Frank Gordon was driving his Land Rover in the Wattagan Mountains in New South Wales south of Can- berra when he saw a reptile 27–30 feet long by the side of the road. It rose up and ran away on all four legs into the neighboring woods. In July 1979, cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy was called to a freshly plowed field by a farmer. Across the field were thirty or so tracks that seemed to have been made by an enormous lizard. While most of the tracks had been ruined by rain, Gilroy was able to make a plaster cast of one that had been preserved.
Possible explanations: (1) The Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Aus- tralia’s largest lizard, grows to 8 feet long; some individuals might attain 10 feet. It is cream-colored, with dark-brown speckles, and it occurs from western Queensland to the coast of Western Australia. (2) Surviving "Megalania prisca" [Invalid name-DD], a 15- to 21- foot lizard that lived in central Australia in foot lizard that lived in central Australia in the Pliocene and Pleistocene (2 mil- lion–20,000 years ago). At 1,300 pounds, it weighed ten times as much as the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and was prob- ably an active predator and scavenger. Its teeth were nearly 1 inch long. At least some specimens had a sagittal crest.[However the same structure is on the head of the smaller and related Perentie lizard-but it is not visable externaly on the living animal's head-DD]
Sources: Rex Gilroy, “Cessnock’s Fantastic 30 Ft. Lizard Monsters,” Strange Phenomena and Psychic Australian, March 1979, at strangephenomenonr.html; Rex Gilroy, “Australia’s Lizard Monsters,” Fortean Times, no. 37 (Spring 1982): 32–33; Rex Gilroy, “Giant Lizards of the Australian Bush,” Australasian Ufologist 4, no. 4 (2000): 17-20.

A LIVING FOSSIL? In Australia, locals speak of a giant, prehistoric lizard that continues to roam the rainforests some 40,000 years after it's said to have gone extinct. Cryptozoologists say this creature, the so-called "Devil Dragon," is a living fossil known to science as Megalania prisca, the largest ground-dwelling lizard that's ever lived. Megalania was at least twice the size of today's Komodo dragon. With large, serrated teeth that bend inward and sharp claws for ripping through flesh, Megalania was likely a fearsome predator.

THE EVIDENCE: Over the last three decades, several reports of unexplained and mysterious human disappearances in Australia have been associated with strange animal imprints. Some witnesses speak of giant, fallen tree logs that scamper away when startled. Though a complete fossil skeleton of Megalania has never been found, a farmer in Queensland, Australia found bones of this prehistoric creature on his farm. They tested to be only 300 years old. Whether or not Megalania continues to roam the Australian rainforests today, it surely did encounter humans when Aborigines arrived on the continent 40,000 to 125,000 years ago.


  1. Are there reports of large bipedal theropod-like monitor lizards from Australia, just like the bipedal iguanid lizards in the Americas?

  2. Check out the blog index listings under "Burrunjor"

  3. Are monitor lizards capable of walking and running bipedally for a long time and long distances with their tails held off of the ground?

  4. I would say no but I would further say, there are no reports of these Australian Cryptids doing that, either, so the question is irrelevant here.

  5. Are there any other reports of giant bipedal theropod-like lizards anywhere else in the world? Other than iguanids and monitors?


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