Tapejara Skeleton

A restored Tapejara skeleton.

General Information
Universe Real Life
Aliases The Old Being
Classification Tapejara wellnhoferi
Species Type Tapejarid
Homeworld Earth
Environment Brazil
Intelligence Non-sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Biological Information
Reproduction Sexual; Lays leathery eggs
Locomotion Powered flight
Feeding Behavior Piscivorous (presumed)
Prey Fish
Lineage Information
Related Species Tapejara imperator
Tapejara navigans
Cultural Information
Alignment Neutral
Organization Flocks
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific Taxonomy
Planet Earth
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Eumetazoa
Infrakingdom Bilateria
Superphylum Deuterostomia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptiles
Subclass Archosauria
Infraclass Avemetatarsalia
Superorder Pterosauromorpha
Order Pterosauria
Suborder Ornithocheiroidea
Infraorder Azhdarchoidea
Family Tapejaridae
Subfamily Tapejarinae
Genus Tapejara
Species wellnhoferi
Other Information
Status Extinct

Tapejara (from a Tupi word meaning "the old being") are a genus of Brazilian pterosaurs with a set of crests: A semicircular one over the snout and a bony prong extending behind the head. They lived during the Cretaceous Period, around 108 million years ago (found in the Santana Formation). Comparisons done between the scleral rings of both the Tapejara and modern birds and reptiles suggests that they may have been cathemeral—active throughout the day for short intervals.

Only one species of Tapejara are currently known: Tapejara wellnhoferi; however, both Tupandactylus imperator and Tupandactylus navigans were also formerly classified as Tapejara.


Tapejara wellnhoferi is the smallest of the three species once referred to as Tapejara, but known fossils have failed to preserve the soft-tissue crest extensions.

The first of the erroneous species, originally known as Tapejara imperator (meaning "emperor") however was much larger and was found to possess a crest made up of distinctively long prongs, projecting from the rounded snout crest and extending back behind the skull to support a large, potentially rounded sail-like crest made up of keratin.

The second of the erroneous species, originally known as Tapejara navigans (meaning "sailing") was instead a medium size between the other two species and sported a crest similar to its relative T. imperator, yet was found to be narrower and more dome in shape, as well as lacking the backwards-pointing bony support prong.

However, it was eventually decided that imperator and navigans were too different from wellnhoferi to properly be considered the same genus, and were therefore moved to the new genus, Tupandactylus (also known by the synonym Ingridia).

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