Age and Locality: Early Cretaceous, Liaoning Province. Liaoningosaurus paradoxus is a highly intriguing and somewhat controversial dinosaur species that was discovered in the famous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. This formation is renowned for its exceptionally well-preserved fossils from the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 123 million years ago. The name “Liaoningosaurus” means “Liaoning lizard,” and “paradoxus” reflects the initial puzzlement and surprise surrounding its discovery and unique characteristics. Liaoningosaurus paradoxus is classified within the Ankylosauridae family, a group known for their heavily armored bodies and tail clubs.
Age and Locality: Early Cretaceous, Liaoning Province. Monjurosuchus splendens, identified by R. Endo in the early 20th century, is a prehistoric reptile from the Early Cretaceous period, specifically from the Jehol Biota of northeastern China. Its name, Monjurosuchus, combines references to Monju (a locality in China where the first fossils were discovered) and “suchus,” derived from the Greek word for crocodile, highlighting its crocodilian features. The species name “splendens” suggests the remarkable or splendid nature of its discovery. Monjurosuchus is not a dinosaur but falls within the group of Choristodera, a now-extinct lineage of semi-aquatic reptiles that thrived during the Mesozoic era.
Age and Locality: Early Cretaceous, Liaoning Province. The Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis is a species within the Psittacosaurus genus, which is part of the early ceratopsian dinosaur family. The name “Psittacosaurus” translates to “parrot lizard,” a reference to the distinct beak-like structure on its face that resembles that of a parrot. The specific name, lujiatunensis, refers to the Lujiatun Beds of the Yixian Formation in Liaoning, China, where the fossils of this species were discovered. Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis lived during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 123 million years ago.
Age and Locality: Middle Jurassic, Liaoning Province. Anchiornis huxleyi, commonly known as the “Huxley’s Near Bird Dragon,” is a small, feathered dinosaur belonging to the theropod group. This species lived during the Late Jurassic period, approximately 160 million years ago, in what is now modern-day China. Discovered in the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning Province, Anchiornis huxleyi is renowned for its exceptional preservation, including the presence of extensive feather impressions. These fossilized feathers have provided crucial insights into the early evolution of feathers and flight in dinosaurs.
Age and Locality: Early Cretaceous, Liaoning Province. Confuciusornis sanctus is a significant species in the study of avian evolution. This prehistoric bird lived during the Early Cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago, in what is now Northeastern China. Named after the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius, Confuciusornis sanctus is one of the earliest known birds to have a beak, a feature that distinguishes modern birds from their dinosaur ancestors. Confuciusornis sanctus was relatively small, with a body size comparable to that of a crow.