Aardonyx ( Earth Claw )

Short Info

Aardonyx (Earth Claw)

Phonetic : Ard-oh-nix.

Named By : Celeste Yates – 2009

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 6-8 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Sauropod

Type Species : Celestae

Found in : South Africa

When it Lived : Early Jurassic, 199-189 million years ago

Aardonyx (Afrikaans Aard “earth” + Greek onux, “nail, claw”) is a genus that belongs to basal sauropodomorph dinosaurs. It is recognized by its type species Aardonyx celestae that was found in the Early Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa. A. celestae has been named after Celeste Yates, who prepared the first fossils of the species. It is characterized by arm features that are in between prosauropods and sauropods.

Based on the form of the hind limbs as well as the the pelvic girdle in Aardonyx The dinosaur usually moved bipedally , but could change to quadrupedal movements like Iguanodon. It has some similarities with giant sauropods that quadrupedal like Apatosaurus. Australian paleontologist Adam Yates and his team’s discovery of the genus was announced in the online version before publication within Proceedings of the Royal Society B in November 2009 and is scheduled to be published in the March issue of. British paleontologist Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum, London, who was not part of the study, said on the fact that finding Aardonyx “helps to fill a marked gap in our knowledge of sauropod evolution, showing how a primarily two-legged animal could start to acquire the specific features necessary for a life spent on all-fours”.

Aardonyx skull
IJReid, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Based on Matthew Bonnan, a co-author of the study, “We already knew that the earliest sauropods and near-sauropods would be bipeds. What Aardonyx shows us, however, is that walking quadrupedally and bearing weight on the inside of the foot is a trend that started very early in these dinosaurs, much earlier than previously hypothesized.” Bonnan states, “On a scientific level, it’s really fulfilling to have a hypothesis on how you think dinosaurs got large, then to test that in the field and get back these kind of data — a new dinosaur — that really does start to fill in some of those anatomical gaps.”

Source: Wikipedia