Fun Tarchia Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Jan 16, 2023 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 29, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Ponder upon these fun and interesting Tarchia facts about the herbivorous ankylosaur discovered in Khulsan in the early 1970s.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The taxonomic classification of the clade Dinosauria comprises various clades, families, subfamilies, and genera dividing around 700 subspecies of dinosaurs. The genus Tarchia, belonging to the subfamily Ankylosaurinae, was discovered and named the Tarchia in the 1970s.

Specimens of the prehistoric animal were known to be unearthed from the Barun Goyot formation of the Nemegt Basin.

While the type species is the Tarchia kielanae, the second subspecies was first described by Tatyana Tumanova in 1977 who coined the specific epithet of the subspecies.

The Tarchia gigantea named by the paleontologist T. Tumanova was later renamed the Dyoplosaurus giganteus by the Soviet paleontologist E. A. Maleev in 1956. Formerly, the Dyoplosaurus giganteus and the Minotaurasaurus were junior synonyms which later were recognized as distinct genera in 1924 and 2016, respectively.

The generic name, Tarchia, was derived from the Mongolian term 'tarkhi' and the Latin word 'ia' meaning 'brainy one'. It refers to the larger brain size of the Tarchia compared to the Saichania, an Ankylosaurid.

Also, the specific epithet from the binomial name of its type species, Tarchia kielanae, was coined to honor a Polish paleontologist and the leader of the Polish-Mongolian expedition, Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska.

If the uniqueness of the Tarchia makes you interested in reading more about similar species, you can read about the Ostafrikasaurus and the Tupuxuara. 

Tarchia Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Tarchia'?

Tarchia is pronounced as 'tahrk-ee ah'. The genus was named by a Polish paleontologist, Teresa Maryańska, in 1977 meaning 'brainy one' which referred to the bigger brain size of the Tarchia in comparison with its related Ankylosaur, the Saichania.

The type species named Tarchia kielanae honored the leader of the Polish-Mongolian expedition to discover a skull of these Ankylosaurs, Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska.

What type of dinosaur was a Tarchia?

The Tarchia was the youngest member of Asian ankylosaurids, having two subspecies: the Tarchia kielanae and the Tarchia gigantea or Dyoplosaurus giganteus. It had an herbivore diet and was closely related to the Saichania.

Although the Dyoplosaurus giganteus and the Minotaurasaurus were referred to as the binomial synonyms for the generic name Tarchia, they were later recognized as distinct genera. The Tarchia was the basal member of Asian taxa Ankylosaurids.

In which geological period did the Tarchia roam the Earth?

The Tarchia lived during the upper Cretaceous epoch or the late Cretaceous epoch around 75-70 million years ago. More precisely, the temporal range of the dinosaur ranged between late Campanian and Maastrichtian stages.

When did the Tarchia become Extinct?

While dinosaurs in general faced extinction around 66 million years ago, the Tarchia was thought to have become extinct by the end of the Maastricht stage of the late Cretaceous period around 70 million years ago.

Although dinosaurs were not known to have major threats, natural disasters, habitat loss, and predators such as the Tarbosaurus were thought of as some of the catalyzing factors leading to their extinction.

Where did a Tarchia live?

As fossil specimens of the Tarchia were uncovered from the Barun Goyot formation of the Nemegt Basin, these Ankylosaurid dinosaurs were present around Mongolia and neighboring Asian countries.

What was a Tarchia's habitat?

Tarchia fossil remains buried in rocks revealed that eolian dunes or environments enclosed by dunes formed the Tarchia habitat. While the Tarchia dinosaur was considered to have a broad range of habitats including open grasslands, well-watered forests, deserts, beaches, woodlands, wetlands, and areas with plentiful vegetation, it was known as a desert animal.

Who did a Tarchia live with?

While many herbivore dinosaurs were found to live in a group, meat-eaters often led a solitary life or hunted in packs, and juvenile dinosaurs were considered social animals. The Tarchia, in particular, is believed to have lived in a pair or a group.

The Tarbosaurus, a Tyrannosaurid, was identified as the predator of the Tarchia as a skull had teeth marks belonging to the Tarbosaurus.

It is known to have lived at a distance from its predators. Whether the Tarchia lived in pairs, in groups or in solitude remains a conundrum.

How long did a Tarchia live?

As the dinosaur was known as one of the longest-living animals with a substantial life span ranging from 70-80 years, the life span of the Tarchia, a wildlife creature from the prehistoric era, is unknown.

How did they reproduce?

There is limited information specifying the reproductive behavior of the Tarchia. The dinosaur was an oviparous animal laying amniotic eggs in nests. The dinosaur nested in cups, domes, burrows, mounds, bed scrapes, and plates.

While the female laid eggs, the male dinosaur is known to have incubated eggs. Females also grew a medullary bone rich in calcium to make eggshells while laying eggs. The evidence of the bone assisted paleontologists to decipher the sex of the dinosaur.

Tarchia Fun Facts

What did a Tarchia look like?

The description of the appearance of the dinosaur is based on Tarchia skeletal fossils and the Tarchia skull unearthed. The restoration of the Tarchia dino and its specimens are housed in a museum, while the description of the prehistoric animal is documented in various research papers.

Some of the common features recorded include spikes on the back with a powerful head. It also had a broad yet bony tail club and short legs.

Read amazing facts about Tarchia.

How many bones did a Tarchia have?

Although two complete Tarchia skulls and a complete cranial skeleton were discovered, the number of bones is unknown.

How did they communicate?

With the evolution of time, the dinosaur inherited both visual and vocal methods of communication. The Tarchia was thought to have adopted similar techniques to communicate with each other, but no sources confirm this.

How big was a Tarchia?

The length of the Tarchia ranged between 18-28 ft (5.5-8.5 m), and had a height varying from 8-10 ft (2-3 m).

Ankylosaurus vs Tarchia: although Ankylosaurs and the Tarchia had a similar length, they were known to have a considerable difference between their weights. Thus, the Tarchia size was almost equal to the body size of the Ankylosaurus.

How fast could a Tarchia move?

While some dinosaurs walked on four legs, others had the ability to walk on two legs. Also, some dinosaurs were thought to have been able to fly as juvenile dinosaurs were capable of flying right after their birth.

Some dinosaurs often inhabited semi-aquatic habitats but the Tarchia was found in terrestrial habitats moving using their four legs. A Tarchia was a quadrupedal dinosaur, but the speed of this prehistoric animal is unrecorded.

How much did a Tarchia weigh?

The Tarchia weight ranged between 1.5-4.5 ton (1,361-4,082 kg).

Tarchia vs Ankylosaurus: while the maximum weight of the Ankylosaurus is measured as 8.8 ton (8,000 kg), it was almost twice the weight of the Tarchia.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male and female Tarchia did not have sex-specific names. However, often, the female dinosaur is known as saura, and the male can be called a saurus.

Also, the type species was named the Tarchia kielanae, honoring the Polish paleontologist, Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska. Similarly, the second subspecies called the Dyoplosaurus giganteus was renamed the Tarchia gigantea, while the Tarchia teresae was yet another subspecies belonging to the genus Tarchia.

What would you call a baby Tarchia?

A baby Tarchia did not have a specific binomial name but was often called a juvenile, a chick, or a hatchling.

What did they eat?

The Tarchia was an herbivorous dinosaur. Primarily, the Tarchia diet of the dinosaur comprised leaves, roots, seeds, flowers, and fruits of various flowering plants.

How aggressive were they?

Although the dinosaur was not thought to have portrayed an aggressive temperament, the Tarchia was known to fight off its predators with its bony tail club.

Did you know...

Fossils of the Tarchia were first discovered in the Barun Goyot formation. Fossil specimens of the dinosaur comprised a complete cranial skeleton and two holotype skulls.

What era did the Tarchia live in?

The Tarchia was a prehistoric wildlife animal that lived during the late Cretaceous epoch around 75-70 million years ago.

What does Tarchia mean?

The generic name, Tarchia, features the Mongolian term 'tarkhi' and the Latin word 'ia' meaning 'brain' and 'one', respectively. It refers to the large brain size of the dinosaur. Thus, Tarchia is known to mean the 'brainy one'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Prosaurolophus facts and Ludodactylus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Tarchia coloring pages.


Main/Hero image- Conty

Second image: w:en:User:Anky-man

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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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