Pronunciation: tree-UN-fo-SOR-us Meaning: Triunfo lizard Author/s: Carvalho, et al. (2017) Synonyms: None known First Discovery: Triunfo Basin, Brasil Chart Position: 757
Dinosaur tracks from Brazil's Early Cretaceous-aged Rio do Peixe complex of neighboring basins are common and well documented, and include those of theropods, sauropods, ornithopods and a possible thyreophoran, none of which could be tied to associated skeletal remains, mainly because the area hadn't yielded any. That changed in 2016, when paleontologists described the first dinosaur fossil from the Rio Piranha Formation of the Sousa Basin—found by local resident Luiz Carlos Gomes—which represents the oldest sauropod known from Brazil and the earliest stratigraphic occurrence of its ilk in central Gondwana, no less. Despite its significance, the describing authors refrained from polluting the literature with another unnecessary dinosaur name based on scant remains—in this case a juvenile shankbone—and instead simply referred to it as "Sousatitan". Unfortunately, not all scientists have the same mindset, and in 2017 Souza Carvalho and colleagues officially coined Triunfosaurus from the Rio Piranhas Formation of the Triunfo Basin which has a high probability of being the same critter as "Sousatitan". But even if their remains were combined, they would still be on the meagre side of sparce.
(Leonardi's Triunfo lizard)EtymologyTriunfosaurus is derived from "Triunfo" (for the Triunfo Basin where it was found) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, leonardii, honors Giuseppe Leonardi of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, who has dedicated a huge chunk of his life to the study of the reptile ichnofauna (tracks, footprints, burrows and the like) of northeastern Brazil.
DiscoveryThe remains of Triunfosaurus were discovered at "Areias Farm" in the Rio Piranhas Formation of the Triunfo Basin, Paraíba State, Brasil. The holotype (UFRJ-DG 498-K-R) includes the haemal arches and neural spines from three tail vertebrae, and a hip bone (right ischium), belonging to one of the oldest basal titanosaurs known from Gondwana (modern day Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar and Australia).