Tapejara was a pterosaur that lived in what is now Brazil during the Cretaceous Period (112 million years ago). Pterosaurs were flying reptiles. Although they were not dinosaurs, they were more closely related to them than any other known reptiles. For this reason, paleontologists refer to dinosaurs and pterosaurs as ‘sistergroups’.
Scientific Name:Tapejara, meaning ‘old being’
Characteristics: Like all pterosaurs, Tapejara had long pointed wings made of skin that was supported by a single, incredibly long finger along the leading (front) edge. In its structure, the wing of Tapejara is much more like that of a modern bat then a bird, whose wings are made mostly of feathers. Despite these similarities, pterosaurs are not closely related to either bats or birds. Although some pterosaurs are the size of small airplanes, Tapejara is quite small, no bigger than a goose. The most striking feature of Tapejara is the huge crest on its skull. It is believed that the crest may have helped steer it during flight, like the rudder of an airplane. It could also have been used to catch the attention of other Tapejara, much the as a rooster uses the brightly colored comb on its head to impress hens during courtship.
Size and Color: this model is 3.75 inches long and 8.25 inches wide. It is mostly brown, but the face and crest is brightly colored, reflecting our belief that the crest would have been used as a display structure.
The Tapejara is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection