The skull of a new, and highly unusual crested dinosaur with an elongate rostrum is the first dinosaur to be named from the Santana Formation of NE Brazil. Irritator challengeri gen. et sp. nov was most likely a maniraptoran dinosaur, but its affinities to other maniraptorans remain to be established. Unique features for Irritator include the pattern of tooth replacement, a highly reduced supratemporal fenestra, extreme lateral compression of the rostrum and a saggital crest comprised of the frontal and parietal bones. Irritator was most probably a piscivore. A land link between South America and the dinosaurian faunal province of North America and Asia is indicated, probably via Africa.