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P.S. :Oldest Neoceratopsian

In response to Ray Stanford's comment concerning pes digit one in my
rendering not contacting the ground, the postcranial anatomy for
Liaoceratops was based on a psittacosaurid model in which each digit of the
pes is slightly longer than the previous. Peter was quite insistent that the
authors had determined the postcrania should be very similar to
psittacosaurs and not portray a more typical neoceratopsian configuration.
The one notable exception to this was the retention of a 5th digit in the
manus ( as Ray makes note of in a subsequent post ).

 Therefore, from the reference drawings of articulated skeletal specimens
and reconstructions, etc... of psittacosaurids at my disposal, the
orientation of the hind foot seems to me, to be as I've shown it. In the
adult animal, I've shown its right hind foot resting its weight on the outer
digits 3 & 4 with only the claw of digit 2 touching the ground and digit 1
held in the air.  I think I was hoping to impart a sense of tenseness or
fear in the adult with the juvenile staying close by its flank.  I should
perhaps elaborate for those who may be unaware, that I did an image of
Sinovenator for Mackovicky and co. at the Field last month and in fact, both
the Sinovenator and Liaoceratops renderings are meant to go together as a
pair (as though they were circling each other in a sort of predator / prey
"stand off").  Peter wanted me initially to do a single painting portraying
both kinds of dinosaur, however, because the dinosaurs were destined for
separate release dates, I decided it would be more practical to do
individual images that would express the encounter and form a diptych in the

I think that what Peter and Xu Xing want the reader to focus on is the close
relationship between Liaoceratops and psittacosaurs in general, and to
emphasize that point in particular through the character of the

Mike Skrepnick