Acrocanthosaurus was a bipedal carnivorous dinosaur that lived in what is now North America during the Early Cretaceous period (115-110 million years ago). At nearly 40 feet long and 6 tons, it was the largest predator of its time. Like most bipedal theropods, the forelimbs were too small to have reached the ground, and so were not used for walking.
Scientific Name: Acrocanthosaurus, meaning ‘high spined lizard’, referring to the unusually tall spines on the vertebrae of the back.
Characteristics: The vertebrae of the back of Acroacanthosaurushave very tall spines along the backbone that served as attachment points for large back muscles, much like a modern bison. These muscles helped to support the large head, and stabilized the large body and tail. You can see evidence of this in the ‘humped’ back of the model.
Size and Color: This model is 8.25 inches in length, and 3.5 inches in height. It is a medium brown in color with a dark stripe running along its back. Both sides of the face have been reconstructed in a very light color. Although we have no direct evidence for this, Many dinosaurs, like birds today, have brightly colored facial markings that allowed the Acrocanthosaurus to recognize another Acroacanthosaurs, and distinguish it from another, similar theropod dinosaur.
Partial skeletons of Acrocanthosaurus was first discovered in Oklahoma in the early 1940s, and named in 1950. Because a lot of the bones were missing, we weren’t sure exactly what Acroacanthosaurus looked like. In the 1990s, much more complete skeletons were discovered. These skeletons provided more information on the unusual spines on the backbone and allowed us to understand how the front limbs were used for hunting.
- Recommended Age: 3+
- Size in inches: 7.48 L x 3.94 W x 3.35 H