Fun Aardonyx Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Oct 20, 2022 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Kidadl Team
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover these absolutely rare and exciting 17 Aardonyx facts for you and your family.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

The Aardonyx is a genus of theropod dinosaurs that lived in what is now South Africa during the early Jurassic stage, about 223 to 221 million years ago. A close relative of the Spinosaurus and the Baryonix, it was one of the most common dinosaurs on prehistoric Earth. The hybrid name Aardonyx, which is derived from the Afrikaans word aarde meaning “earth” and Greek onyx meaning "claw", refers to its unusual features. It has five digits on each hand but only three toes per foot. The most interesting fact about this dinosaur is that it relied heavily upon its claws for defense instead of teeth like other predators at the time. The Aardonyx was first discovered by paleontologist Andrew Gentry at the Triebold Farm near Arrisdrift in Northern Cape Province. The holotype specimen consists solely of strong Aardonyx bones from one individual that includes three teeth (two premaxillaries with serrations only on their distal edges), five cervical vertebrae (the third through seventh), six dorsal ribs, two gastralia or belly-ribs, and an ilium bone fragment similar to a transition between basal sauropodomorphs and sauropods. A lot has been learned about this ancient creature due to many fossils prepared by Celeste Yates, being found over time, and these were used for analysis by scientists. Some interesting facts are its ability to use tools - it was one of only three dinosaurs known with such an attribute (the other two species were birds), as well as having small arms which likely meant very little function in comparison to its large claws on each Aardonyx foot. Read on to find more interesting Aardonyx dinosaur facts!

Find more relatable content about the Staurikosaurus and the Dacentrurus for kids.

Aardonyx Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Aardonyx'?

The Aardonyx pronunciation is 'are donix', and the animal has a long neck similar to that of an ostrich.

What type of dinosaur was an Aardonyx?

An Aardonyx was a prosauropod dinosaur.

In which geological period did the Aardonyx roam the earth?

The Aardonyx scientific name is Aardonyx celestae and it roamed throughout Earth during the early Jurassic period.

When did the Aardonyx become extinct?

The Aardonyx dinosaur became extinct around 100 million years ago.

Where did an Aardonyx live?

Did you know that Aardonyx dinosaurs lived in African savannas? The savanna is a large grassland with scattered trees and brush. Most of these creatures were found along rivers, which are important water sources for many animals to survive.

What was an Aardonyx's habitat?

It is believed that this bipedal resided along riverbanks, as well as marshes or swamps where there were large trees with branches overhanging the water for cover from predators.

Who did an Aardonyx live with?

Most people are not aware that this dinosaur lived and evolved alongside other sauropods with its strong bones and jaws such as the Dryosaurus or the Tenontosaurus.

How long did an Aardonyx live?

Aardonyx sauropods lived and evolved to be about 20 years old as estimated from the Aardonyx fossil mostly prepared by Celeste Yates.

How did they reproduce?

The Aardonyx sauropod dinosaur laid eggs in nests on the ground. It was very rare for them to lay more than one egg at a time. They did have an interesting way of protecting their young: when Aardonyxes would sense danger nearby, they used their strong tails as levers and lifted up stones with which to protect themselves or attack predators - even if it meant crushing their own babies under those rocks!

Aardonyx Fun Facts

What did an Aardonyx look like?

The Aardonyx was a medium-sized dinosaur. It had an unusual flat mouth and a u-shaped Aardonyx skull (sometimes v-shaped) with sharp teeth on both the top and bottom of the pointed symphysis, which were used to chew up meat from other sauropods that were already dead or at the time of death. The Aardonyx was a massive, gigantic creature with powerful limbs for digging and climbing. It had long legs that were well-adapted to running on land as well as swimming in water. The arms of the creature would have had five fingers attached at each end which is typical of other early forms related to its later cousins but unlike many modern animals today including humans who typically have five digits per limb. Strong u-shaped and v-shaped legs indicate it moved quickly through its environment in search of food.

The Aardonyx skeleton had a unique shape that helped in its easy identification.
*We've been unable to source an image of an Aardonyx and have used an image of a Styracosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of an Aardonyx, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How many bones did an Aardonyx have?

An Aardonyx species had 220 bones. It was a large reptile that lived 250 million years ago in the Elliot formation in what is now South Africa.

How did they communicate?

Aardonyx Sauropodomorpha dinosaurs communicated with each other by using their gigantic tails until death. The tail was used to signal when they were about to attack, flee or hold still. When the tail moved from left to right, this meant the animal remained in place and did not move an inch.

How big was an Aardonyx?

The weight and size of the Aardonyx Sauropodomorpha made it a moderately sized dinosaur. The Aardonyx was 33 ft (10.1 m) long and 28 ft (8.5 m) tall, and the ancient creature roamed the Earth between 260 million and 145.5 million years ago.

How fast could an Aardonyx move?

The Aardonyx sauropodomorph was a species of dinosaur that lived around 200 million years ago during the Jurassic period. It is estimated to have been able to move its limbs and run at speeds up to 31.1 mph (50 kph) which would be extremely fast for the Aardonyx size and weight!

How much did an Aardonyx weigh?

An extinct dinosaur from the Jurassic era known as the Aardonyx is now being brought to life through 3D modeling technology by researchers based out of Birmingham City University in England. The new data can help us understand how this creature moved about on the Earth and the Aardonyx weight. It weighed around 1,000 lb (453.6 kg)!

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no gender-specific terms and both female and male sauropods go by the name Aardonyx celestae dinosaurs!

What would you call a baby Aardonyx?

The cute babies of quadrupedal sauropods have no scientific terms and are referred to as baby Aardonyx dinos!

What did they eat?

The Aardonyx sauropod was a plant-eating theropod dinosaur that lived during the early Jurassic period and was more like a transition between basal sauropodomorphs and sauropods. The Aardonyx diet included small plants, leaves, trees, and herbs to survive; these types of food were plentiful in its environment during this time period.

How aggressive were they?

The Aardonyx celestae was a plant-eating dinosaur with thick arms and strong claws. It is likely that it could have been aggressive since its forelimbs were heavily muscled, which would allow for extra force in attacks on other dinosaurs or even large animals like the sauropod Paralititan.

Did you know...

In the year 2009, the Aardonyx sauropod was discovered in Angola.

How did the Aardonyx get its name?

The Aardonyx sauropod got its name because it had a unique method of eating. It ground up food in the back of its mouth, smashing and crushing everything into small pieces that could be swallowed easily.

Is the Aardonyx a bipedal or a quadrupedal dinosaur?

The Aardonyx celestae may have been able to switch between the locomotion of bipedal and quadrupedal sauropods, representing a transitional stage between basal sauropodomorphs and sauropods.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Atrociraptor facts or Pawpawsaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Aardonyx coloring pages.

First image by Nobu Tamura

Aardonyx Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small plants, leaves, trees, and herbs

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Grayish green

How Much Did They Weigh?

1,000 lb (453.6 kg)

Skin Type

Thick scales

How Long Were They?

33 ft (10.1 m)

How Tall Were They?

28 ft (8.5 m)









Scientific Name

Aardonyx celestae

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Grass plains, forests, meadows, and tundras

Where Did They Live?

South Africa
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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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