Temporal range: Lower Cretaceous, 116 to 110 mya
|Mounted Acrocanthosaurus skeleton at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.|
Acrocanthosaurus was a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in North America during the Lower Cretaceous period. Its name means "high-spined lizard". This refers to the spines on its vertebrae which formed a sail or hump when the animal was alive.
Its classification is uncertain. It was originally classified as a spinosaur, because the spines on its back resembled those of Spinosaurus. However, Acrocanthosaurus is now classified as a carnosaur. Most paleontologists believe that it was a carcharodontosaurid.
Acrocanthosaurus was 39 feet long, almost as large as Tyrannosaurus rex. It was the largest theropod in North America before the evolution of the tyrannosaurs. There is a famous trackway in Paluxy, Texas , which shows tracks of an Acrocanthosaurus and its prey, a Paluxysaurus.
In popular culture[change | edit source]
Acrocanthosaurus was featured in an episode of the television documentary Monsters Resurrected. It was depicted as the top predator in early Cretaceous North America. A juvenile was scared away from its kill by a pack of Deinonychus, and was forced to hunt more difficult prey, such as a Sauropelta.
References[change | edit source]
|Wikispecies has information on: Acrocanthosaurus.|
- Bates, K.T. et al (2009). "Estimating mass properties of dinosaurs using laser imaging and 3D computer modelling". PLoS ONE 4 (2): e4532. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004532. PMC 2639725. PMID 19225569. "We therefore suggest 5750–7250 kg represents a plausible maximum body mass range for this specimen of Acrocanthosaurus.".