(After the palaeontologist Tan Xichou).
Named By: Carl Wiman - 1929.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Ornithopoda, Hadrosauroidea, Hadrosauridae?
Species: T. sinensis (type).
Size: Estimated at around 7 meters long.
Known locations: China, Shandong Province.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Initially the back of the skull, further remains have been attributed to the genus.
is one of the many known Asian hadrosauroid dinosaurs, but one that
is not very well represented. The initial description was based upon
the back of the skull which seems to be that of a flat headed
hadrosauroid dinosaur, the kind roughly between the earlier
iguanodonts and the more advanced hadrosaurids. However the
incomplete nature of the remains has also led to speculation that
Tanius may actually be a hadrosaurid in its own
right, possibly one
of the saurolophines because of the seemingly flat head.
At one time the lambeosaurine hadrosaurid Tsintaosaurus was considered by some to be a synonym to the genus Tanius. This was based upon the idea the crest of Tsintaosaurus was merely another bone that had become fossilised next to the skull to give the impression of a crest. However, when a second specimen identical to the first was found, the crest was definitely not a product of the fossilisation, and palaeontologists are today satisfied with treating the two genera as separate. Additionally however, another species of Tanius called T. spinorhinus is now considered a synonym of Tsintaosaurus, with the other species T. chingkankouensis and T. laiyangensis also being considered to be the same as Tsintaosaurus. Another species, T. prynadai, has now been moved to the genus Bactrosaurus.
Tsintaosaurus spinorhinus Young and Tanius sinensis Wiman: a preliminary comparative study of two hadrosaurs (Dinosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous of China, E. Buffetaut & H. Tong - 1993.