Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, Campanian
Tan in April 1923 discovered the remains in the east of Shandong at the village of Ch'ing-kang-kou, ten kilometres southeast of Lai Yang. In October of the same year they were excavated by Tan's associate, the Austrian paleontologist Otto Zdansky. Although the specimen was originally rather complete, only parts could be salvaged. The holotype, PMU R.240, was recovered from the Wangshi Formation dating from the Campanian. It consists of the back of the skull, which was flat and elongated. Later numerous other fragments would be referred to Tanius.
Other species originally assigned to Tanius have been moved to other genera. These include: Tanius prynadai named in 1939 by Anatoly Nikolaevich Ryabinin, which was assigned to Bactrosaurus; and Tanius chingkankouensis named in 1958 by Yang Zhongjian, and Tanius laiyangensis named in 1976 by Zhen Shuonan, which were both later considered junior subjective synonyms of Tsintaosaurus.
Exact cladistic analyses resulted in Tanius being placed either basal in the Hadrosauroidea, basal in the Hadrosauridae, also dependent on the definition of the latter concept, or in the Hadrosaurinae
- Wiman, C. (1929). "Die Kreide-Dinosaurier aus Shantung", Palaeontologia Sinica, Series C 6(1): 1-67
- Riabinin, A.N., 1939, [in Russian] "The Upper Cretaceous vertebrate fauna of South Kazakhstan, Reptilia; Part 1, the Ornithischia", Transactions of the Central Geological and Prospecting Institute, 118: 1-38
- Young, C.C., 1958, "The dinosaurian remains of Laiyang, Shantung", Palaeontologica Sinica, New Series C, 16: 53-138
- Zhen, S., 1976, "A new species of hadrosaur from Shandong". Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 14(3): 166-169
- 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", C.R. Academy of Science Paris, series 2, 317: 1255-1261
- Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, p. 296