Ibirania parva was a typical titanosaur shape: four sturdy legs, a long neck, and a long tail. It was also relatively small, thought to be approximately 5.7m long.
Ibirania parva lived in what is now Southern Brazil during the Late Cretaceous. The area was an inland floodplain that experienced frequent and prolonged periods of drought.
The fossil specimens were discovered at the Garcia brothers' farm (called, as a location, Sítio dos Irmãos Garcia) in the Northeast of the Brazilian state of São Paulo.
The holotype consists of some vertebrae, and partial leg and foot bones. Three additional paratypes were discovered that include more vertebrae, and the bones of a separate leg. Later studies of the holotype also discovered preserved remains of parasites, leading to the earliest known case of parasitic bone disease.
Sauropods include the largest dinosaurs discovered, especially Titanosaurs, which makes Ibirania parva surprising because of how small it is. The structure of its bones indicate that it was an adult, making it one of the smallest known sauropods. It is thought that Ibirania parva evolved its small size due to prolonged droughts in its habitat.
Ibirania comes from the combination of 'Ibirá' and 'plania'. The municipality the fossils were discovered in is 'Ibirá', which is a Portuguese form of the indigenous Tupi word 'ybyrá', meaning 'tree'. Plania is the Greek word for 'wanderer'. Parva comes from the Latin 'parvus', meaning 'small' or 'little'. This gives the meaning of Ibirania parva to translate to 'little tree wanderer'.