Fun Tupandactylus Facts For Kidsorn

Rhea Nischal
Oct 20, 2022 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Oct 04, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Check out these thrilling Tupandactylus facts about its time period, wingspan, classification, diet, and more!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

Tupandactylus is a genus consisting of unique-looking tapejarid pterodactyloid pterosaur that existed during the Aptian to Albian stages of the Early Cretaceous, 112 - 122 Million years ago. It was discovered and named in 1997 by Diógenes Campos and Alexander Kellner.

Its fossil remains were discovered in the Early Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil. It was a unique pterosaur and wouldn't have gone unnoticed due to its extraordinary features.

Its exceptional appearance is based on four incomplete specimens of skulls. It is notable for its big cranial crest that was made of soft tissue and bone.

A Tupandactylus specimen also preserves evidence that this pterosaur possessed a keratinous, toothless beak present at the tips of its jaws.

It also possessed a characteristic rudder-like sail that was thin but large, present on top of its head that operated as a sensory organ, aiding it in its turning agility. It is believed to have inhabited marine environments where it could forage easily.

It was a piscivore that is assumed to have fed upon fish only. Keep reading to discover thrilling Tupandactylus facts about its classification, skull, specimen,

If you enjoyed reading our interesting Tupandactylus facts, you must check out our dyno-mite Palaeosaurus facts and Zhejiangopterus interesting facts as well!

Tupandactylus Interesting Facts

Was the Tupandactylus a dinosaur?

No, it wasn't a dinosaur, it was a pterosaur that is notable for its distinctive cranial crest.

How do you pronounce 'Tupandactylus'?

Tupandactylus can be pronounced as Too-pan-dak-ty-lus.

What type of prehistoric flying bird was a Tupandactylus?

Tupandactylus is a genus of extinct tapejarid pterodactyloid pterosaur species.

In which geological period did the Tupandactylus live?

It is believed that these creatures existed during the Aptian to Albian stages of the Early Cretaceous, 112 - 122 Million years ago!

When did the Tupandactylus become extinct?

It is has been estimated by paleontologists that this pterosaur went extinct 112 million years ago after existing for 10 million years on Earth!

Where did a Tupandactylus live?

These pterosaurs have been estimated to have existed during the Early Cretaceous period in South America as their fossil remains were discovered from the Crato Formation of Brazil.

What was a Tupandactylus's habitat?

These pterosaurs dwelled in a marine environment that facilitated their dietary requirements. It is also speculated that T. navigans might have foraged on land, but it isn't yet confirmed.

It is also believed that even though they could fly, they chose to fly short distances only when they needed to dodge predators, and spent the majority of their time on the ground.

Who did a Tupandactylus live with?

It is assumed that these pterosaurs flew in flocks and co-existed with dinosaurs like Irritator and other pterosaurs like Ornithocheirus.

How long did a Tupandactylus live?

The lifespan of this pterosaur is not yet evaluated by researchers.

How did they reproduce?

These pterosaurs are believed to have reproduced by laying eggs. It is also believed that they went through courtship rituals that involved their crest!

Tupandactylus Fun Facts

What did a Tupandactylus look like?

Tupandactylus is a genus consisting of two species that both possess crests of a different shape. It is assumed that they may have signaled each other through these crests like toucans utilize their bills to do so.

They are notable for their distinctive cranial crest that is made up of soft tissue and bone.

There was also a semicircular crest on top of its snout. The species T. imperator possessed a pair of bones projecting backwards, behind its head.

The species T. navigans did not possess these bones and instead had a more vertical crest. It has also been observed that these bony crests were much more extended due to the presence of some keratinous material.

The crest of the T. navigans stood up like a sail-like dome on top of its skull and was the most distinctive feature of this pterosaur and was as high as 3 ft (1 m). There has also been evidence of a keratinous beak present at the tips of its jaws.

It is believed to have been the first pterosaur that developed a toothless beak.

The wingspan has been estimated to be between 16.4-19.6 ft (5-6 m)! The body is assumed to have been gray and black, with a white-colored head, blue-colored head side, and bright red crest.

Tupandactylus had a unique appearance and is renowned for its large crest made of soft tissue!

How many bones did a Tupandactylus have?

The total number of bones this creature of the Early Cretaceous period possessed has not yet been evaluated. The appearance has been based on four specimens of the Tupandactylus skull, lower jaw, a toothless beak with a bony base, and a head crest.

The crest was supported by a pair of bony struts and is assumed to have been made of soft tissue such as keratin.

How did they communicate?

These animals are assumed to have been quite vocal, communicating with each other through a range of honks, and screeches, similar to those of seagulls. It is also assumed to have communicated through their crests.

How big was a Tupandactylus?

The Tupandactylus size has not yet been evaluated completely. However, we do know that the Tupandactylus wingspan was approximately 16.4-19.6 ft (5-6 m). Its distinctive crest has been estimated to be 3 ft (1 m) long!

How fast could a Tupandactylus move?

It is believed that this pterosaur was actively mobile during its existence. It has been examined that it was capable of flight and took short flights to dodge predators.

It is estimated that they could glide efficiently, similar to an albatross, and had the ability to make movements similar to a bat.

It is assumed that it could raise its wings and sail like a ship.

Even though they are believed to be incredibly agile, it is assumed that they spent the majority of their time on land due to their neck, long forelimbs, and large crest. The rudder-like, large sail present on its head operated as a sensory organ just like a modern aircraft's flight computer, aiding it in its turning agility.

How much did a Tupandactylus weigh?

It has been estimated that this animal weighed about 130 lb (58.9 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

The suffix of the term dinosaur is saurus for males and saura for females.

What would you call a baby Tupandactylus?

The baby of this Early Cretaceous period dinosaur can be referred to as a hatchling or juvenile.

What did they eat?

It is believed that this reptile was a piscivore. Many feeding strategies have been hypothesized, but it is widely believed that the Tupandactylus diet consisted of fish that it caught from the ocean. It has also been examined that even though it spent the majority of its time on the ground, it took short flights to dodge mighty predators.

How aggressive were they?

These pterosaurs are assumed to have not been as aggressive as other theropods and ornithopods that co-existed with them. They are assumed to have been piscivore and did not prey upon other animals.

Did you know...

The genus Tupandactylus has a junior objective synonym known as Ingridia!

What does Tupandactylus mean?

Tupandactylus was named by paleontologists Campos and Kellner. It means meaning Tupan finger and was kept to honor the Tupi thunder god!

Are Tupandactylus and tapejara the same?

The species of the Tupandactylus genus were originally placed under the genus Tapejara. However, later research suggested that it species of the Tapejara genus must be assigned their own genus, which led to the formation of Tupandactylus.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Tupandactylus fun facts and thalassomedon facts for kids.

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

Image one by Susanne Henßen, Darmstadt, Germany.

Image two by Nobu Tamura.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

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Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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