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’.
- History: At least three different species of Tapejara have been described, but closer examination has recently shown that there is really only one species, Taejara wellnhoferi, named after the famous German paleontologist Peter Wellnhofer, who has studied and written about many pterosaurs.
- 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: this model is 3.75 inches long and 8.25 inches wide.
- The Tapejara is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection
- All of our products are Non-toxic and BPA free