New Dinosaur Species Found in South Africa

Paleontologist Adam Yates , second left, displays fossilized bones of a new dinosaur species, Aardonyx Celestae, from the early Jurassic period (about 200 million years old) during an announcement of the discovery at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. The fossils, displayed on the table, were found in the town of Senekal, near Bethlehem in the Northern Free State, in South Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
AP Photo/Denis Farrell
Scientists say they've discovered a new dinosaur species in South Africa that may help explain how the creatures evolved into the largest animals on land.

Paleontologist Adam Yates from the University of the Witwatersrand presented an incomplete skeleton of the Aardonyx celestae at a news conference Wednesday.

The findings of Yates and his team have been published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B.

The species was a plant-eater dating back about 200 million years to the early Jurassic period. The dinosaur walked on its hind legs but could drop to all fours and stood nearly 6 feet high at the hip.

Yates believes it represents a missing evolutionary link between earlier dinosaurs and their descendants.