Tapejarids and their rather more distant relatives the thalassodromids always managed to have the showiest crests, and Tupuxuara is no different.
It was a rather large animal found in the Santana Formation of Brazil, during what is probably the heyday of the pterodactyloid pterosaurs. It is dated back to at least 108 million years, the Albian Stage of the Early Cretaceous.
The Thalassodromidae is a family of probably terrestrial carnivorous or omnivorous pterosaurs that flourished here in Early Cretaceous Brazil. They had narrower jaws than the similarly large-crested tapejarids and they are more closely related to the azhdarchids than the Tapejaridae proper as of a new diagnosis by Xu Xing and colleagues in 2014.
Tupuxuara itself is a typical member of the group. The first species described was T. longicristatus, named for its lengthy, backswept crest. It was described in 1988 by Kellner on the basis of holotype wing bones and a snout. The second, much larger species is T. leonardii, named in 1994 by the same researcher.
This species had a skull 1.3 meters long, but the bodies of these creatures were almost infinitesimal by comparison but packed to bursting with immensely thick muscles.
This is no different to the azhdarchids themselves. The crest of the second species was different, with a much more rounded tip. This species also probably had a very large wingspan of around 5.5 meters across.
They were still highly active on land, being able to run as well as any ungulate mammal. The Santana Formation was home to a massive variety of animals, including carnivorous non-avian dinosaurs, fish and marine turtles.
Among the other pterosaurs were Tapejara itself, the founder member of its family and the gigantic fish-eating Tropeognathus, yet another famous Walking with Dinosaurs alumnus. There was another species described in 2009 by Mark Witton, T. deliradamus, on the basis of a holotype skull. Its name comes from the Latin words for crazy (delirus) and diamonds (adamas). It is derived from the Pink Floyd song, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and is a clever allusion to the researcher's favorite band.