The prehistoric king of early Cretaceous America, Acrocanthosaurus is one of the most well known dinosaurs for its unique characteristics. Filling the apex predator void between the Late Jurassic Allosaurus and Middle Cretaceous Siats, it was unrivaled for 20 million years. It was a very large carcharodontosaur at 11.5 meters (38 feet) long, 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) tall, and 7 tons. Instantly recognizable, it’s stand out feature is its thick raised neural spines running from neck to tail. Preserved ligaments suggest this was a structure that supported massive muscle groups, and possibly could’ve also stored nutrition for periods of time without food. With mountainous power, Acrocanthosaurus would’ve been adept at actively hunting a wide variety of prey. It could’ve also performed a behavior known as flesh grazing: using its powerful musculature and blade-like teeth to tear chunks off of giant sauropods to feed while they are still alive. It certainly had no shortage of prey in the early Cretaceous Antlers and Cloverly formations, with Tenontosaurus roaming the tidal plains and hills in abundance among many other dinosaur species like Deinonychus, Ornithomimus, Sauroposeidon, and Astrodon.
- A footprint trackway found in Arkansas provides a unique window into the past that details life in the Cretaceous. The tracks show a multiple mile methodical pursuit of an Acrocanthosaurus going after the titanic Sauroposeidon. The tracks have provided tremendous insight into it’s physiology and how it moved. Footprints can sometimes be as valuable as fossils themselves!
- The position of its inner ear has determined that Acrocanthosaurus had a strange posture. It appears to have walked slightly more upright with its head tilting more towards the ground. The advantages or uses of this trait are unknown.
- Unlike most large theropods, Acrocanthosaurus had an important function with its arms. While they couldn’t swipe or slash with much rotation, it could grapple. Anything seized in its claws would’ve been pressed to it’s body; unable to escape from its unbreakable grasp, any movement backwards would’ve impaled itself on the predators large claws. This would’ve kept prey in a striking range for those savage jaws.
- It’s name means “High Spined Lizard.”
Would you like to see Acrocanthosaurus in Jurassic World: Alive?
How do you think it would be in game?
Dinosaurs we would Like #13 - Tropeognathus