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a herbivorous hadrosauroid iguanodontian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China.
Pronunciation: TAHN-ee-us
Meaning: for H.C. Tan
Author/s: Wiman (1929)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Shandong, China
Chart Position: 124

Tanius sinensis

Discovered by H.C. T'an in 1923, Tanius is no better understood now than it was back then. That's mainly because Austrian paleontologist Otto Zdansky made a pigs ear of excavating what was initially a relatively complete skeleton in 1929, and by the time Carl Wiman arrived to name and describe what was left later the same year he didn't have a great deal to work with. A lack of decent backup specimens in almost a century since then has done little to help its cause. And when remains did turn up that it could have laid claim to paleontologists weren't quite sure what to do with them.

Tanius has been classified as a hadrosaurid with lambeosaurine features, a lambeosaurine with hadrosaurid features, a chimera, and a primitive hadrosauroid, depending on scientific thought at any given time. Rozhdestvensky reckoned it to be a second species of the antennae-like crest-sporting Tsintaosaurus at one point, despite it lacking the skull part that would've anchored a crest (if it had one). Other features, however, suggest it's unique and from a different family altogether.

In the past, three other species have been assigned to Tanius, but they have issues of their own. Tanius prynadai (Young, 1958) was formerly known as Bactrosaurus prynadai (A.N. Ryabnin, 1939) but Rozhdestvensky assigned its remains to Jaxartosaurus aralensis in 1968, while Tanius chingkankouensis (Yang Zhongjian, 1958) and Tanius laiyangensis (Zhen Shuonan, 1976) are both considered synonymous with Tsintaosaurus spinorhinus.
Tanius is named in honor of esteemed Chinese paleontologist T'an Xichou (aka H.C. Tan).
The species epithet, sinensis, is derived from the new Latin "sine" (China) and the Latin suffix "ensis" (from), literally "from China" or just "Chinese".
The remains of Tanius were discovered in the Wangshi Formation at Ch'ing-kang-kou village, ten kilometres southeast of Laiyang, Shandong Province, China, by H.C. Tan in 1923. The holotype (PMU R.240) consists of the back of the skull, which was flat and elongated. Numerous other fragments would later be referred here.
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Maastrichtian
Age range: 71-68 mya
Est. max. length: 8 meters
Est. max. hip height: 3 meters
Est. max. weight: 2.4 tons
Diet: Herbivore
• Wiman C (1929) "Die Kreide-Dinosaurier aus Shantung". Palaeontologia Sinica 6(1): 1-67.
• Riabinin AN (1939) "The Upper Cretaceous vertebrate fauna of South Kazakhstan". Reptilia: Part 1. Ornithischia. Centralnyj Naucno-issledovatelnyj geologiceskij Institut, Trudy 118: 1–40.
• Young CC (1958) "The dinosaurian remains of Laiyang, Shantung". Palaeontologia Sinica 142: 53–159.
• Buffetaut E and Tong-Buffetaut H (1993) "Tsintaosaurus spinorhinus Young and Tanius sinensis Wiman: a preliminary comparative study of two hadrosaurs (Dinosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous of China". Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris 317: 1255–1261.
• Lund EK and Gates TA (2006) "An historical and biogeographical examination of hadrosaurian dinosaurs". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 35: 263–276.
• Paul GS (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs". Page 296
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "TANIUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Feb 2018.