The genus was named and described by Alexander Kellner and Diógenes de Almeida Campos in 1988. The type species is Tupuxuara longicristatus. The genus name refers to a familiar spirit from the mythology of the Tupi. Thespecific name means “long-crested” in Latin.
The holotype, MN 6591-V, was found in the Cretaceous Santana Formation of Brazil. It consists of a snout and some partial wing bones. Mature individuals of T. longicristatus had a back-swept crest arising from the snout. Much more fossil material has later been found, showing considerable variation inmorphology. Some researchers explain this as intra-specific variability, being caused by a difference in age or sex. Others, however, assume there are different species present.
In 1994 a second species was named by Kellner: Tupuxuara leonardii. The specific name honours Giuseppe Leonardi. The holotype is MN 6592-V, a fragmentary skull with a more rounded crest. Other such material has been referred to T. leonardii. The largest skulls have a length of 130 centimetres indicating a wingspan of 5.5 metres (18 ft).
In 2009 a third species was named, by Mark Paul Witton: Tupuxuara deliridamus. The holotype is SMNK PAL 6410, a skull. Another skull is the paratype: KPMNH DL 84. The specific name is derived from Latin delirus, “insane” or “crazy”, and adamas, “invincible” but also the word from which “diamond” is derived. The species has a distinctive diamond-shaped skull opening and low eye sockets. The name is a tribute to the song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd, one of Witton’s favourite bands.
(From Wikipedia, February 2015)