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STL Science Center
31 January 2015
Copyright Michael Skrepnick 2002
Liaoceratops probably had many reasons to be upset like it appears in this image. It was certainly not the smallest of the "pre" Triceratops Ceratopsians (Liaoceratops is technically considered one of the basal most neoceratopsians which includes Triceratops), but it was still living in an area of the world populated by early maniraptorans and tyrannosaurids; Tarbosaurus and Velociraptor were still approximately 60 million years in China's future at the time of Liaoceratops. The fact that Liaoceratops was not as heavy or as heavily armored as its later descendants is reflective of the predators that it lived with. Its predators were probably just as dangerous to it as Tyrannosaurus was to Triceratops or Tarbosaurus was to Saurolophus (unfortunately a hadrosaur and therefore a different type of comparison). However, seeing that it was lighter and certainly lightly armored compared to later Ceratopsians, we can infer that the predators of the time, without knowing what they were (Raptorex fits into this time frame), were probably smaller than later Cretaceous predators.