New Dinosaur Species Discovered in South Africa

aardonyx-new-dinosaur-speciesFour possible new dinosaur species were discovered in South Africa. One of which has already been named Aardonyx Celestae. The new species is being heralded as a missing link between the early dinosaurs that were two-legged to the sauropods or four-legged dinosaurs.

How dinosaurs evolved into the massive four-legged reptiles has been a question that keeps bugging scientists for a long time.

The Aardonyx is dated to have lived in the early Jurassic period, stands 6 feet (1.7 meters) and weighs 1100 pounds (500 kgms). It is 23 foot (7 meters) long and has a large barrel of a chest. Concrete-like stones are attached to its claws – hence the name “Aardonyx” which literally means “earth claws”. It walks on its hind legs but can drop to all fours. It is also classified as plant eating or herbivore.

Professor Adam Yates of the University of the Witwatersrand’s Bernard Price Institute for Paleontological Research lead the South African research. However he assigned the actual site where the bones were dug up to masters student Marc Blackbeard. Blackbeard’s team then found the more than 300 bones that make up the new dinosaur species.