Wits scientist discover new dinosaur

2009-11-11 12:11

A WITS University researcher has discovered a new species of


Australian Dr Adam Yates led the investigation, which started five

years ago, after postgraduate palaeontology student Marc Blackbeard made the


The dinosaur, found in Senekal in the northern Free State, has been

named Aardonyx celestae after Yates’ wife, Celeste, who prepared

the fossil.

Aardonyx is derived from (aard – Afrikaans for Earth) and (onyx -

Greek for claw).

Yates, who works at Wits’ Bernard Price Institute for

Palaeontological Research, said the type of bones found on site had never been

seen before.

“Some of the bones had been lost to erosion before the site was

discovered,” the palaeontologist said.

He told a briefing at the university’s Origins Centre in

Braamfontein today, that 600 bones had been found.

The dinosaur is believed to be between 183 and 195 million years


Although Yates said he could not tell how big it was, he believes

its size was possibly half a ton (500 kilograms) and between 12 and 15 metres in


He added that it was a plant eater with small teeth and that it had

short forearms compared to its hind legs.

“This is one of the many jewels South Africa has,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.