STL Science Center

STL Science Center

30 January 2015

More Horned Faces

©Nobu Tamura
130 million years ago in what is now China's Liaoning province a basal Ceratopsian dinosaur was doing what Ceratopsians did: eat, sleep, and other things that living creatures do. In 2002 a Chinese (Chinese Academy of Sciences based) and American (University of Chicago based) team uncovered and described a dinosaur they came to name Liaoceratops yanzigouensis (Horned face of Liaoning from Yanzigou). This small Ceratopsian is considered one of the basal most members of the line leading directly to larger horned dinosaurs like Triceratops and Styracosaurus. Some of the morphological traits that would be enhanced and highlighted in the larger descendants are obviously evident, to a degree, in Liaoceratops, as we would expect with a founding member of a lineage.

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