Tupuxuara leonardii

The most dazzling feature on many pterosaurs was a spectacular head crest. Tupuxuara leonardii had one of the most impressive crests ever found. Its huge, fan-shaped crest swept back from its snout. Fossils of this large pterosaur formed in a lagoon in what is now Brazil. Tupuxuara lived near water and probably used its long, toothless beak to grab fish.

Pronunciation: too-pu-SHWA-ra
lay-o-NAR-dee-eye
Lived: around 110 million years ago
Fossil Found: in northeastern Brazil
Wingspan: 15 feet (4.5 meters)
Diet: probably fish
Cool Fact: Pterosaur crests, like some bird crests, may have been brightly colored. This may have helped members of the same species recognize each other.

Image credits: main image, © AMNH 2014; Mark Norell: AMNH.