|1st Species||Acrocanthosaurus atokensis|
|Time Range||116-110 mya|
|Location||United States of America|
|Name Meaning||High-spined reptile|
|Physical Dimensions||11.5 meters long|
Acrocanthosaurus is a a carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of the United States of America. It was named in 1950 by John Willis Stovall and Wann Langston Jr. It was one of the largest theropods, as well as one of the few carcharodontosaurids to have lived in the Northern hemisphere (alongside Concavenator and Neovenator).
Acrocanthosaurus was a giant theropod with a semi-bulky body, moderately long legs, short arms with 3 fingers on each hand, a long tail, a moderately long neck, a large head with a mouth containing lots of big teeth, and a pair of stubby crests atop its head. As well as this, it had a large hump on its back. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.
Acrocanthosaurus was a predator, preying on iguanodonts, mid-sized sauropods, nodosaurs, and dromaeosaurs. Its teeth had knife-like serrations from back to back, and were used to slice off pieces of flesh from the bodies of large prey.
Like other large carcharodontosaurids, Acrocanthosaurus was an apex-predator that mainly focused on hunting large-bodied animals, using its serrated, knife-like teeth to bite chunks of flesh out of prey's bodies in order to weaken them before going in for the kill. While its arms were very small and could not swing very far (even to scratch its own neck), they could retract towards the body very strongly; due to this, it could have used its arms to assist with predation in many ways, from grappling onto moderately large prey with its arms while biting into them to grabbing smaller prey with its jaws while using its claws to slice them into smaller, more digestible chunks of flesh. Due to a massive parallel trackway containing foots from it as well as many sauropod dinosaurs, we can assume that the theropods tracked down herbivores like these in small packs; however, while pack-hunting is suitable for almost any carnivorous theropod, the possibility of many different solitary theropods moving in the same direction at different times after the sauropods had passed is not out of the question. The function of the hump on Acrocanthosaurus' back remains open to debate; some possible theories include being used for display or for being used to store fat so that the dinosaur could survive harsh dry seasons.
In popular cultureEdit
Acrocanthosaurus was first introduced to the public in the 1995 novel Raptor Red, where it competes with the protagonist Utahraptor for food and throws off her pack's way of life; when tensions arise in the pack even further, the giant theropods take the opportunity to strike, but are soon driven off when one of them is lured over to a Kronosaurus's jaws. Since then, it has been featured in smaller pieces of media (usually documentaries) like Monsters Resurrected, where it is often portrayed as an imposing (if mostly passive and animalistic) predator that rules over its environment.