An African dinosaur

09 November 2010

Aardonyx celestaeUCT's professor Anusuya Chinsamy- Turan and a team of international researchers has identified a very special African dinosaur, Aardonyx celestae. Aardonyx is not just the newest face on the African dinosaur scene, but also a pivotal piece in the puzzle of dinosaur evolution.

Unearthed in the Free State, the vegetarian Aardonyx is said to date from the Early Jurassic period, about 195 million years ago. Not a full-grown adult when it died, Aardonyx was about seven metres long and about 1.5m high at the hips when on all fours. And while it was bipedal, meaning it could walk on its hind legs only, Aardonyx is of particular interest to palaeontologists because it could also move about on all fours.

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