The Aardonyx  was a prosauropod, which are dinosaurs that lived before the Sauropods. This dinosaur belonged to the Saudromorphoda family, which consists of other long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in the Early Jurassic Period.

Key facts

Aardonyx pronunciationThe name Aardonyx can be read as “ar-don-ix”.
What does Aardonyx mean?The name Aardonyx is a hybrid name that was derived from the Afrikaans word aarde meaning “earth” and Greek onyx meaning “claw”. The meaning of the name means ‘earth claw’ which refers to its unique features.
Dinosaur typeProsauropod
On the menuHerbivore
Length8 meters (26 feet)
Height2 meters (6 feet)
Weight500 kg (1102 lbs)
Life expectancyThe life expectancy of an Aardonyx is about 20 years old.
Legs used to get aroundThe Aardonyx was bipedal.
Estimated top speedThe estimated top speed of an Aardonyx was 31.1 mph (50 kph).
When they livedThe Aardonyx lived during the Early Jurassic Period which was 199-189 million years ago.
Where they have been found?Arrisdrift in Northern Cape Province

When & Where

The fossils of the Aardonyx were found by paleontologist Andrew Gentry in Arrisdrift, located in Northern Cape Province. The fossils that were retrieved consists of bones, cervical vertebrae, ribs, and a bone fragment.

Size & Weight

Not much was known about the size and weight of the Aardonyx¸ but according to studies, this dinosaur grew up to 8 meters in length, 2 meters in height, and about 500 kg in weight.

Mobility & Diet

Just like other prosauropods, the Aardonyx was a herbivore. In order to live, this dinosaur mainly fed off small plants, trees, leaves, and herbs to survive. During the Early Jurassic, these plants were known as there were a lot of herbivorous dinosaurs back then.

Interesting Points

  • There was only one specimen that was found by paleontologists.
  • This dinosaur lived from Hettangian Age to Sinemurian Age.
  • Thrived in a terrestrial environment.
  • Being a herbivore, the Aardonyx was considered to have been a transition between basal sauropodomorphs and sauropods.