Millions of years ago, Earth was inhabited by gigantic animals known as dinosaurs. The very word gives us goose bumps, thanks to the box office hits Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III. No matter how intimidating the movies were, the truth is that millions of years ago, Earth was the homeland of these gigantic animals, some of which were petrifying and some were just harmless herbivores. Even though the herbivores weren’t really after barbeque eves, their feather touch tap on us could crush us to death. Luckily we really didn’t share the Earth with them back then. Aardonyx was one such plant eating dinosaur. Let us learn 10 interesting facts about Aardonyx and find out what they really were. Unfortunately, we will not have a live photo to show but we may just manage to grab a recreation from the fossils discovered in 2009.
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At a glance:
Lived: 195 million years ago.
Species: Aardonyx Celestae (Named after Celeste Yates, wife of Palaeontologist Adam Yates).
1. Aardonyx ate plants and they were the predecessors of the highly developed herbivore dinosaurs known as Sauropods.
2. Before Aardonyx were the Prosauropods and after Aardonyx were there the Sauropods. Thus, Aardonyx for the missing anatomical link that scientists have been hunting for years. It was previously believed that Prosauropods evolved into Sauropods. However, the problem with this transition was that Prosauropods were actually bipedal. In other others, they used to walk using their hind legs but Sauropods walked with all four legs.
3. Aardonyx was capable of both bipedal and quadrupedal movement. While moving quadrupedally, Aardonyx could bear weight on the inside of the foot and this was the trend setter that led to the evolution of quadrupedal Sauropods.
4. The discovery of Aardonyx came from two juvenile skeletons. Scientists believe that these two individuals were less than 10 years old when they died and the left over disarticulated bones were actually from relatively complete carcasses.
5. Aardonyx had V-shaped and narrow jaw and they had pointed symphysis. This indicated the evolutionary transition to U-shaped and broad jaws of the Sauropods.
6. Aardonyx were habitually bipedal, i.e. they used to move using only their two hind legs. However, they would occasionally drop on their four legs for either feeding or for mating.
7. Aardonyx featured low-slung body with long tail and long neck.
8. Aardonyx weighed around 1000 pounds and adults could grow up to a length of 10 meters or 33 feet.
9. Aardonyx were slow walkers. The cursorial ability of this species of dinosaur was low. In other words, they did not evolve for running fast.
10. Aardonyx lived on earth 195 million years ago and remains were found from South Africa’s Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation. That’s actually the early Jurassic Period.