Acrocanthosaurus was a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in North America during the Early Cretaceous period. Its name means "High-spined lizard", referring to the spines on its vertebrae that formed a sail or hump when the animal was alive. Its classification is uncertain. It was originally classified as a spinosaurid, 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. However, some alternatively classify it as a member of the Allosauridae. Acrocanthosaurus was 39 feet long, almost as large as Tyrannosaurus rex. It was the largest theropod in North America before the evolution of the tyrannosaurids. There is a famous trackway in Paluxy, Texas that shows an Acrocanthosaurus stalking 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.
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