The Tarchia is a type of ankylosaurid that roamed the sand dunes of Mongolia in the Late Cretaceous period. The ankylosaurid order is made up of dinosaurs of this type from North America and Asia with the Tarchia currently being the youngest known of Asian ankylosaurids.
Like other ankylosaurid’s the Tarchia was massive and have a distinct club-like tail which was often used as a weapon. Currently five specimens have been discovered in the Nemegt Basin, Mongolia and these specimens support the fact the the Tarchia was indeed very large and is estimated to have weighed around 4.5 tonnes.
None of the ankylosaurid’s are small by any means however the Tarchia is believed to be one of the largest and it is believed the Tarchia could reach 8.5 meters in length. The skull of the Tarchia is also very large measuring at around 16 x 18 inches.
The name Tarchia is a combination of Latin and Mongolian dialects and literally means ‘brain’. This brainy dinosaur is believed to have inhabited the deserts of what is now Mongolia as the sites where the fossil specimens have been found show the remnants of sand dunes ans possibly the occasional stream or small lake.
The Tarchia is thought to be closely related to another ankylosaurid that goes by the name of Saichania and specimens of both the Tarchia and the Saichania have been found around the same areas of Mongolia, particularly the Goyot Formation.
It has proven a hard task to identify the specimens of Tarchia and Saichania as both are very similar in physical characteristics. to date the only way that we can tell these massive ankylosaurid’s apart is by the slight differences in their skulls which indicate that unlike the Saichania the Tarchia could close its teeth together and this has been identified by wear from grinding.