Fossils of the last known European monitor lizard have been discovered near Athens. The fossils are dated to the Middle Pleistocene, approximately 750,000 years ago. They were found in a fissure fill deposit only a few kilometers from the Acropolis and are made up of fragmentary bones from the upper and lower jaws. The discovery was announced in May of 2017 by paleontologists Georgios Georgalis, Andrea Villa, and Massimo Delfino.
Monitor lizards, technically known as varanids, are almost all medium to large predators. The most famous member, the Komodo dragon, is the largest living lizards. Living monitors are known from warm areas of Africa, Asia, and Australia, but are also known from fossils throughout Europe. These Greek fossils can be assigned to the living genus Varanus, but don't represent any living species. They seem to be least like varanids from Africa, and probably represent an Asian origin.
Over the last few million years, the Earth's climate has gotten colder, culminating in the Pleistocene with a series of ice ages. At their greatest extent, massive continental glaciers covered much of northern Europe. The glaciers did not get as far as south as Greece, but the local climate was substantially cooler than today.