STL Science Center

STL Science Center

21 March 2014

Transitional Sauropods

©Nobu Tamura
From savage little dinosaurs to gentle giants, we like to take odd leaps through time, geography, and ancestries. Earth claw of Celeste, or Aardonyx celestae as it is more commonly known, was a transitional prosauropod in the adaptation of quadrupedalism (for weight support) from bipedalism. The structure of the foot of this animal revealed a lot about how the sauropod gait and stance evolved and cemented the quadrupedal to bipedal evolutionary line in sauropod movement. A very odd nose and a rather large claw accentuate this dinosaur in addition to the interesting foot structure; things we will learn about in the coming week. Looking at this animal now we can see that it looks rather plain and somewhat uninteresting, but I promise that it will reveal itself shortly as anything but that.

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