Liaoning Province was named after its main river, the Liao River. It is a coastal province in Northeast China and the capital is Shenyang. It was once called Fengtian or Fengtien province.
Liaoning has three geographical regions, the highlands in the west, plains in the middle, and hills in the east. Obviously underground sites are rare in the central plains. The highlands in the west are dominated by the Nulu'erhu Mountains, which more or less follow the border between Liaoning and Inner Mongolia. The eastern part of Liaoning is dominated by the Changbai Mountains and Qianshan Mountains. The mountains form the Liaodong Peninsula which extends into the sea. Both areas have a lot of limestone with karst caves. The sedimentary rocks of the Jehol Group, the Lower Cretaceous, which consists of the Yixian Formation, Jiufotang Formation and Tiaojishan Formation, contain many fossils. They are internationally known for their wealth in dinosaur fossils. In 1996 Liaoning made the headlines with the discovery of Sinosauropteryx prima, the first example of a "feathered" dinosaur. Since then numerous other fossils have been discovered.