Early sunlight glittered gold on the leaves. Big Meg woke when a slight rise in temperature told him it was time to move. He raised his head to taste the air. It was still cool and a slight breeze carried smells to his flickering tongue. His ears picked out no sound other than the rustle of leaves and the creak of branches high above the ground. His head swiveled, the folds and wattles of his neck that served as camouflage shifted as he did. He decided it was safe to move and that it was early enough to find food. He stretched each leg in turn, encouraging blood flow through his limbs so he could move and find enough sunlight in which warm himself. Even for Megalania Big Meg was a large male; 23 feet long and weighing nearly two tons. His sand colored skin was mottled with gray-green stripes and patches. He had lived many years, more than most of his species and felt no aging in his muscles and bones. He feared nothing except a scent that was new and strange, a taste that had recently arrived in the forest. He feared it as he feared anything new, and instinctively knew that something about it was dangerous. He avoided that smell whenever he could.
Tall eucalyptus forests and woodland dominated the land, dense enough to give shelter and provide places to lie in ambush but clear where necessary so he could move easily. Nothing had fallen to his bite for too long now. Hunger forced him to move. He didn't like that; it brought him to attention and his brain screamed fear. But the urge was too great. He needed to eat and he needed to eat soon. His stomach growled with hunger, and when he opened his jaws he expelled gas. He moved slowly at first, his four limbs aching. Slowly they began to work, the stiffness eased just enough for him to move his bulk between the trees. They shook as he pushed past and wary birds screeched in alarm.
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