Tarchia. See more dinosaur images.
Tarchia. See more dinosaur images.
Brian Franczak

TARCHIA (TAR-kee-uh)

Period: Late Cretaceous


Order, Suborder, Family: Ornithischia, Thyreophora, Ankylosauridae

Location: Asia (Mongolia)

Length: Unknown

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This ankylosaur is known from two species. Tarchia giganteus is known from a complete skull and a partial skeleton. But, except for the skull, little of the material has been described. For this reason, neither the length nor weight of the animal is known.

The skull of Tarchia was massive, and it had room for a large brain. In fact, its name means "brain" in Mongolian. The skull had large spine-like plates at the top and bottom. Large, knobby plates of armor covered the skull. The beak was broad and rounded. The teeth looked like those of most other ankylosaurs; the animal was a plant-eater. The armor was thin-walled and similar to the armor plates of most ankylosaurs.

Tarchia lived in a dry environment. Other dinosaurs that lived at the same time and in the same place included Tyrannosaurus, the ostrich dinosaur Gallimimus, and the hadrosaur Saurolophus. Scientists do not know what plants Tarchia ate because no fossil plants have been found.