It inhabits the canopy of wet forest and feeds on fruit and some invertebrates. It has an orange erectile crest, black-spotted yellowish underparts and scaling on the head and neck. As its name implies, it has a straight, pointed beak, which gives its common name.
Sharpbills are most commonly found in tall dense forests but occasionally venture to the forest edge. Their diet consists of primarily of fruit, but they will also take insects, hanging upside down in from twigs to obtain insect larvae. They will also travel in mixed-species feeding flocks with ovenbirds, tanagers, woodpeckers and cotingas. The breeding system employed by this species is polygamous with losely grouped males displaying in from a lek. The nest of the sharpbill is built by the female and is a small cup built on a slender branch. Chicks are fed by regurgitation.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Oxyruncus cristatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Stiles, F. Gary; Whitney, Bret (1983). "Notes on the Behavior of the Costa Rican Sharpbill (Oxyruncus cristatus frater)". The Auk. 100 (1): 117–125.
- Ericson, P. G. P., D. Zuccon, U. S. Johansson, H. Alvarenga, and R. O. Prum. 2006. Higher-level phylogeny and morphological evolution of tyrant flycatchers, cotingas, manakins, and their allies (Aves: Tyrannida). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40:471-483.
- Ohlson, J. I., R. O. Prum, and P. G. P. Ericson. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of the cotingas (Aves: Cotingidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42:25-37.
- Charles G. Sibley; Scott M. Lanyon; Jon E. Ahlquist (1984) "The Relationships of the Sharpbill (Oxyruncus cristatus)" Condor 86(1) 48–52.