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AARDONYX

Aardonyx (Karkemish)
Pronunciation: Ahr-don-ix
Meaning: Earth claw
Author/s: Yates et al. (2010)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Free State, S.Africa
Chart Position: 560

Aardonyx celestae

Described in 2009 based on the remains of two sub-adults, Aardonyx was close to the ancestor of sauropods proper, and provided a missing chapter in the evolution of lumbering herbivores from bipedal (two-leg drive) to quadrupedal (four-leg drive).

Straightened thighs with muscle attachment anchors lowered to the mid-point which allowed for bigger muscles thus increased power, strengthened bracing joints to reinforce the spine, interlocking forearm bones and non-twisting wrists, and flattened weight-bearing feet, suggest Aardonyx was becoming just as comfortable on four legs as it was on two. It was lugging around an enormous fermenting tank of a belly and had a mouth unhindered by huge-gape-restricting cheeks to fill it with, which is as good a reason as any for the shift in stance and sauropod super-sizing that followed. They simply ate themselves bigger.

Aardonyx was a hugely unexpected bonus when National Geographic funded a research party to explore a known South African Massospondylus hot spot for juvenile specimens of this common as dust "prosauropod" and its tough-as-nuts muck-encrusted name-prompting claws were discovered by Mark Blackbeard (our new favourite paleontologist, based on surname alone) in 2004.
(Celeste Yates' Earth Claw) Etymology
Aardonyx is derived from the Afrikaans "aard" (earth) and the Greek "onux" (claw), referring to its earth-encrusted feet claws which were the first remains to be discovered. The species epithet, celestae (ce-less-tie) honors Celeste Yates who was chargeed with removing said earth.
Discovery
The first fossils of Aardonyx were discovered in the Upper Elliot Formation at "Marc's Quarry", farm Spion Kop, Senekal District, Free State, South Africa, by Marc Blackbeard in 2004.
The holotype (BP/1/6254) is a maxilla (a tooth-bearing bone from the upper jaw).
Defining features
Coming soon...
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Jurassic
Stage: Hettangian-Simemurian
Age range: 201-196 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 9 meters
Est. max. hip height: 2 meters
Est. max. weight: 2 tons
Diet: Herbivore
References
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To cite this page:
"AARDONYX :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th May 2016.
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