Aline M. Ghilardi, Tito Aureliano, Rudah R.C. Duque, Marcelo A. Fernandes, Alcina M.F. Barreto & Anusuya Chinsamy (2016)
A new titanosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Brazil.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
Earliest stratigraphic occurrence of Titanosauria in Brazil and central Gondwana.
First skeletal remain of a dinosaur found in the Rio do Peixe basin complex.
Histological analysis reveals a relatively young individual.
Distinct characteristics suggest it may represent a new taxon, but more material is necessary.
Here we describe a new record of a sauropod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous (Hauterivian–Barremian) Rio Piranhas Formation, Sousa Basin, NE Brazil. Dinosaur fossil bones from this deposit were unknown until now. Thus, the discovery of a sauropod fibula from this locality is highly significant. Our discovery represents an indeterminate titanosaur and the earliest stratigraphic occurrence of this group in central Gondwana. When compared to chronocorrelate titanosaur trackmakers of this geological unit, this fossil specimen appears substantially smaller. Histological analysis of the fibula suggests that this is a relatively young individual (approximately 40–50% adult body size) that had passed its most rapid phase of early juvenile growth, but had not yet attained somatic maturity. Thus, the fibula recovered is from a young individual rather than from a small-bodied adult titanosaur.