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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Liaoningosaurus For Kids

Read more fun Liaoningosaurus facts here.

The Liaoningosaurus (Xu et al.,2001) is a genus within the suborder Ankylosauria and the family Ankylosauridae. This genus is from China's Early Cretaceous period. Liaoningosaurus paradoxus is the only species in this genus, which was depicted by two fossil pieces of evidence collected from the Yixian Formation (Aptian age), Liaoning Province. Hypothetically, this dinosaur is believed to have scavenged or hunted as there were preserved contents in their gut, probably fish skeletons. This theory shows that the Liaoningosaurus was either an omnivore or a carnivore, making this species the first non-herbivorous ornithischian to be discovered. Few skeletal features also suggest that this species was probably semi-aquatic. The L. paradox type species was officially described and named by paleontologists Wang Xiaolin, Xu Xing, and You Hai-lu in 2001. The common name is a reference to Liaoning Province, and the specific name is a reference to the unusual mix of ankylosaurid and nodosaurid traits shown by this specimen. Zheng proposed in 2018 that the holotype of the Liaoningosaurus could be the juvenile form of the larger Chuanqilong that was discovered from the Jiufotang Formation in 2014.

If you enjoyed reading these facts about the Liaoningosaurus paradoxus, then you may also enjoy learning some fun facts about the Ostafrikasaurus and Yinlong.

Liaoningosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Liaoningosaurus'?

The pronunciation of Liaoningosaurus (Xu et al.,2001) is 'lee-au-nuhnga-sau-rus.'

What type of dinosaur was a Liaoningosaurus?

 This ankylosaur specimen is a turtle-like dinosaur of the order Ornithischia and phylum Chordata that was found in the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation. Also, two fossils or holotype evidence of this specimen gathered at this place represent the Liaoningosaurus paradoxus. It was hypothesized that there were preserved fish skeletons in the gut of the Liaoningosaurus's skeleton, meaning that these dionsaurs might have been carnivores or omnivores.

The lack of fusion in major regions of the Liaoningosaurus's skeleton was interpreted by scientists as a semi-aquatic adaptation. However, the depth they could reach in a water body is unknown. This dinosaur was first described in 2001. The sharp claws and large fork-shaped teeth of this dinosaur might be a lifestyle adaptation for catching and eating fish and other small creatures. There are about 20 Liaoningosaurus specimens collected from a place close to Jiufotang Formation and four different places in the Yixian Formation. Many of these pieces of evidence are yet to be studied.

In which geological period did the Liaoningosaurus roam the earth?

The Liaoningosaurus of Ankylosayr was from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation.

When did the Liaoningosaurus become extinct?

The extinction period of these Ankylosaurian specimens is not known. However, the Ankylosaurids went extinct around 66 million years back, which was in the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

Where did the Liaoningosaurus live?

 This ankylosaur specimen was found and described in the Liaoning Province in China.

What was the Liaoningosaurus habitat?

 This ankylosaur specimen preferred to live around aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Who did the Liaoningosaurus live with?

There is no data on whether the Liaoningosaurus paradoxus was a social animal, however, this dinosaur species was mostly social. A group of dinosaurs had a 'live together and die together' type of lifestyle.

How long did the Liaoningosaurus live?

There is no data available on the lifecycle of this ankylosaur specimen. However, Wenjie Zheng, a Chinese paleontologist, concluded through a microanatomical study in 2018 that a holotype discovered was not older than 12 months, meaning the body was in a development stage.

How did they reproduce?

The reproduction process of the Liaoningosaurus paradoxus (Xu et al.,2001) was oviparous. There is not much known about the breeding of this Ankylosaurian. In scientific literature, there is a document of a possible neonate-sized fossil of this ankylosaur.

Liaoningosaurus Fun Facts

What did the Liaoningosaurus look like?

Discovered in 2001, these ankylosaurs are turtle-looking, small dinosaur specimens. These dinosaurs are quite different from the other ankylosaur specimens because by retaining the external mandibular fenestra, there might be Antorbital fenestral in skeletons. They had comparatively large teeth present even in the praemaxilla, a possible trait of the juvenile. There were sharp and long points on their tooth crown, giving them a for-like appearance. Their long legs were low and they had long feet. They have sharp claws on both their hands and feet, which are nothing like the blunt claws of other ankylosaur specimens. These features were interpreted as juvenile Liaoningosaurus's traits.

With the second preserved fossils, Ji and his colleagues argued that these traits represent the semi-aquatic lifestyle. There were triangle-shaped osteoderms (belly plate) present on the shoulder with a small shoulder spike. An expansive osteoderm or belly plate was identified by Xu, which was different compared to features of other ankylosaurs. The belly armor had isolated and unfused osteoderms instead of shield-like features. There were rhombic and hexagonal bumps on the dotted osteoderm. It was believed by Ji and his colleagues that the evolution of the belly plate was similar to turtle species, protecting their underside while swimming. Victoria Arbour and her colleagues provided an analysis in 2013 that the osteoderms were normal scales like other dinosaurs, meaning these Ankylosaurid specimens had no belly plate.

These ankylosaur specimens might be the only known aquatic or semi-aquatic armored dinosaurs.
We've been unable to source an image of a Liaoningosaurus and have used an image of a Saichania genus species, related to the Liaoningosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Liaoningosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected] 

How many bones did a Liaoningosaurus have?

The exact number of bones in the Liaoningosaurus paradoxus (Xu et al.,2001) specimen's skeleton is not known.

How did they communicate?

It is not known how these turtle-like ankylosaurid specimens communicated with each other. Perhaps, they used vocals and body language to communicate with each other like the other dinosaurs. Scientists are certain that dinosaurs communicated through hollers, hoots, cracking sounds, songs, and dancing, and even love calls.

How big was Liaoningosaurus?

The Liaoningosaurus size range is 1 ft 1 in (34 cm) in length, which is a measurement from the preserved IVPP V12560 holotype (an articulated skeleton). Spinosaurus species were almost 50 times the length of Liaoningosaurus dinosaur species. This dinosaur was even smaller than turtles, as interpreted from the fossils.

How fast could a Liaoningosaurus move?

The exact walking or running speed of this ankylosaur specimen is not known. All Ankylosaurus specimens are slow-moving creatures and the top speed might have been less than 6.2 mph (10 kph). Ornithomimid dinosaurs might have been capable of moving at 40-50 mph (64.3-80.4 kph).

How much did a Liaoningosaurus weigh?

The Liaoningosaurus weight range is not known.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no known specific names given to the male and female Liaoningosaurus paradoxus.

What would you call a baby Liaoningosaurus?

There is no specific term for a baby Liaoningosaurus paradoxus.

What did they eat?

The Liaoningosaurus diet might have been either carnivorous or omnivorous. This was interpreted by the fish skeletons scattered on the preserved fossil of this dinosaur. The described sharp claws and large fork-like teeth are believed to be an adaptation for eating fish. This feature has also been suspected in primitive or basal ornithischians like Pachycephalosaurids and Heterodontosaurs.

How aggressive were they?

There is no available information on how aggressive these ankylosaur dinosaurs were.

Did you know...

While trying to find a relation of this specimen to ankylosaurs, it was accepted that Liaoningosaurus specimens might represent a third lineage.

Andrea Cau, a Paleontologist theorized an alternate situation where a dead juvenile Liaoningosaurus paradoxus sank to the bottom of a water body, and fish might have been scavenging on the body and fossilized over this body when a catastrophic event occurred.

The genus Ankylosaurus was first discovered in this family in 1906 by Barnum Brown and Peter Kaiser in Montana. Brown later named both the family and the subfamily as Ankylosauridae and Ankylosauridae, respectively in 1908. They found fossils like a distorted scapula, part of the skull, ribs, some vertebrae, two teeth, and over 30 osteoderms.

Most Ankylosauridae species had leaf-shaped teeth, implying they had an herbivorous diet. The most unique feature of the Ankylosauridae species is their tail club. Another feature is the presence of abundant structural fibers on primary and secondary bone and this is shared with their sister group, Nodosauridae. The meaning of this family could be 'rigid spine', 'curved spine lizard', 'curved lizard', and 'rigid lizard'.

Henry Fairfield Osborn first named the suborder Ankylosaria in 1923. This name is of Latin descent and is a derivation of the Greek term 'ankylos', meaning 'bent' or 'curved' and the anatomical meaning is 'fused' or 'hard' and sauros meaning 'lizard'.

The originating point of ankylosaurs is poorly understood and few specimens are studied from the Middle Jurassic period.

The relative, Nodosauridae, had a specialized bone knob on the shoulder blade and the shoulders were very muscular. They had thick limbs and flaring and wide hips. They would have used their large parascapular spines against their predators. Their beaks were narrower and smaller than ankylosaurids. Most fossils of these species were found in North America.

Why are they called Liaoningosaurus?

The common name of this ankylosaur specimen is a reference to the Liaoning Province in China where this dinosaur fossil was first discovered. Also, the specific term is a reference to the unique mix of nodosaurid and ankylosaurid features shown by this specimen.

Was the Liaoningosaurus slimy?

It is not known whether this ankylosaur species was slimy or not. Perhaps, the interpretation of their semi-aquatic adaptations might have made them a little slimy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Dilophosaurus facts and dinosaur facts for kids.

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

*We've been unable to source an image of a Liaoningosaurus and have used an image of an armored dinosaur of the same suborder related to the Liaoningosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Liaoningosaurus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected] 

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