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Aardonyx Celestae : A Little-Known Dinosaur

Aardonyx Celestae : A Little-Known Dinosaur

4 min read

Have you ever heard of a dinosaur which name means "Claw from the ground"? If not, then hurry to read about this prehistoric creature. Note in advance that this genus of dinosaurs had only one species (Aardonyx Celestae), which makes it a kind of unique. So, let's discover it together..


In this article, you'll find out : 

  • How big was Aardonyx
  • What did Ardonyx eat
  • When was Aardonyx discovered
  • Who discovered Aardonyx


A Bunch Of Facts About The Aardonyx : 

How can we classify this prehistoric animal? 

First of all, as you may have guessed, the Aardonyx is a member of the great dinosaur family. To be more precise, Aardonyx belongs to the related group of four-legged Sauropodomorphs, a subgroup of the saurischian family, which are located at the top of the basal Sauropodomorphs Zauropods and are a transitional link. By systematization A.M.Yates in 2009, Aardonyx was classified as Anchisauria taxon.

Height, weight, length, and physical characteristics of the Aardonyx:

What was the Aardonyx size

If you're curious and interested in this prehistoric creature, you've probably wondered, How tall was the Aardonyx, or, How long was the Aardonyx? Well, let's take a look at it! 
The Aardonyx was kind of a big dinosaur, but a middle size sauropod. During its lifetime, the Aardonyx was about 23ft ( 7m ) long and 6.5ft ( 2m ) tall at the most for a weight of about 1100 pounds ( 500kg ). It had a long neck and a small head that resembled in appearance the head of typical Sauropods - giant four-legged dinosaurs. It had characteristic front extremities, which are intermediate between Pro-sauropods and Sauropods. The structure of the limbs of the lizard indicates that he preferred to move on four limbs, but was able to walk on the hind two.

A transitional dinosaur?

Aardonyx is a very specific Sauropodomorph, as it physically represents a transitional stage between bipedal ancestors and quadrupedal descendants. This change is most evident when considering his legs, which shows adaptation for slow and forceful walking. These changes, combined with the increasing shift of the support point towards the quatrain, have allowed the Sauropods to grow to truly gigantic proportions. 

According to some researchers, this species can clarify the evolution of four-legged dinosaurs. At the same time, however, 200 million years ago, the Sauropods already lived on earth, so the Aardonyx is not the ancestor of the sauropods nor its the transition phase, it is more likely one of the descendants of the transition phase animal. 

aardonyx facts

Picture source : planeetanihmeet

How did the Aardonyx feed?

Aardonyxshows a transition toward the bulk-browsing form of feeding characteristics of sauropods. Aardonyx jaws are narrow-like and V-shaped with a pointed symphysis, plesiomorphic characteristics common with other basal sauropodomorphs. Sauropods have broad and U-shaped jawbones for a larger bite. The nonappearance of a sidelong edge at the tail conclusion of the dental demonstrates a misfortune of beefy cheeks. Typically seen as an adjustment to more extensive teeth to encourage voluminous vagrancy and is watched in nearly all Sauropods. Sidelong neurovascular arrangements of the upper jaw of Aardonyx are littler than in other basal sauropodomorphs and demonstrate a diminished blood supply to buccal tissues and, thus, a misfortune of beefy cheeks. The advancement of horizontal plates along the alveolar edges of a few cranium bones would offer assistance to affix the lingual sides of the teeth against the buccal powers amid leaf tears.

The presence of plesiomorphic V-shaped jaws in conjunction with the nonattendance of plump cheeks is an unordinary include of Aardonyx. Already, it was thought that broader jaws created to diminish and lose in plump cheeks as an adjustment to swelling in sauropods. Sauropod Chinshakiangosaurus had U-shaped jaws whereas holding beefy cheeks, which is the opposite of the condition watched in Aardonyx. Since Chinshakiangosaurus could be a more subordinate of the Sauropodomorphus, this proposes that a wide cheekless understudy may create within the Sauropodomorphus: Once in Aardonyx and once more in Sauropods, the understudy is more progressed than in Chinshakiangosaurus.


Picture source: Y-Forest / Deviantart

The story of Aardonyx discovery: 

When was it discovered?

The species Aardonyx Celestae was found in 2009 in early Jurassic sediments of South Africa. Excavations were conducted in the Upper Elliot Formation in Marc's Quarry. Paleontologists managed to find a large number of bones and their fragments, which probably belonged to two different individuals

Who discovered Aardonyx?

The dinosaur was first described in 2010 by paleontologist Adam Yates and his colleagues. The name of the genus is derived from the language Afrikaans "aard" - land and the Greek "onyx" - claw. The species name is given in honor of Celeste Yates, who discovered and prepared most of the first fossils of this species.

How old were found dinosaurs when they died? 

When determining the age of a creature at the time of death, researchers can calculate the annual rings display in cortical bone structures. When this was done for Aardonyx, it was found that both representatives were no older than ten years. The precise nature of their death was not determined, but both were found alongside little bone spans. The truth that they were generally intact may demonstrate characteristic causes, such as the sudden flood that murdered the Aardonyx wandering together... The fact that two of them, who were the same age, kicked the bucket together may demonstrate that they moreover meandered together in life, and may have been a portion of a bigger gather.

Aardonyx: pop-culture's unloved dinosaur? 

The least we can say is that the Aardonyx is not a movie star, this can be explained by the fact that it was discovered in 2010, that is to say, that very recently, it could not appear in Jurassic Park films or other cultural works. 

However, it is not totally unknown to TV. Indeed, the discovery of the Aardonyx is presented in the second episode of the 2010 BBC documentary Museum of Life, where paleontologist Paul Barrett describes the Aardonyx as a transitional form between bipedal Pro-sauropods and giant quadrupedal Sauropods.

You are now an Aardonyx expert! 

Congratulations, you know pretty much everything there is to know about this little-known prehistoric reptile. 

If you liked it, feel free to have a look at the other articles of our blog. If you're a dinosaur enthusiast you can also check out our dinosaur plush collection by clicking on the image below!

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