|This guest favorite dinosaur, the Acrocanthosaurus was among the largest theropods known to have lived.
Acrocanthosaurus is a genus of carcharodontosaurid dinosaur that originated from Early Cretaceous North America.
Acrocanthosaurus is included in the Carnivore Dinosaur Pack, and can be unlocked by progressing through the Entertainment Division on Isla Pena, where its fossils can subsequently be excavated in the Antlers and Twin Mountain formations in North America.
One of the apex predators of the Early Cretaceous period, Acrocanthosaurus is a large carnivorous dinosaur, one of the largest ever discovered, that slumps its head in the downward position in order to maintain balance because of the shape of its inner ear.
Unlike most large theropods, which occasionally sniff twice and then roar while standing still, the Acrocanthosaurus does not have this animation. Instead, it stands up tall, then stoops down, vibrates its ribs and shakes its head. In battle, the Acrocanthosaurus will lunge forward and headbutt a foe before biting down on it.
One of the largest known carnivorous dinosaurs ever discovered, Acrocanthosaurus was first uncovered in Oklahoma by American paleontologists J. Willis Stovall and Wann Langston Jr. in the year 1950. When it was first discovered, Acrocanthosaurus was originally thought to be closely related to the Jurassic predator Allosaurus. However, in the 1980s, given the spine on its back, it was then thought to be a species of spinosaurid. Eventually, in the year 2013, cladistic analyses have found it to be a carcharodontosaurid, therefore, related to Carcharodontosaurus of Africa and Giganotosaurus of South America.
Like some carnivores, such as Allosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus, the skull of Acrocanthosaurus was long, low, and narrow. Its skull alone was nearly 1.3 m (4.3 ft) in length. The dinosaur itself measured 11.5 m (38 ft) in length from snout to tail tip and weighed an estimated 6.2 metric tons (6.8 short tons). This makes Acrocanthosaurus one of the largest predatory dinosaurs ever discovered. Armed with curved, serrated teeth, Acrocanthosaurus teeth were wider than those of Carcharodontosaurus and did not have the wrinkled texture that characterized the carcharodontosaurids.
Perhaps the most notable feature of Acrocanthosaurus, hence its name, was its row of tall neural spines, located on the vertebrae of the neck, back, hips and upper tail, which could be more than 2.5 times the height of the vertebrae from which they extended and supported a ridge of muscle over the animal's overall upper body. Most other dinosaurs also had high spines on the back, sometimes much higher than those of Acrocanthosaurus. For instance, the unrelated Spinosaurus had spines nearly 2 m (6.6 ft) tall, about 11 times taller than the bodies of its vertebrae. The lower spines of Acrocanthosaurus had attachments for powerful muscles like those of modern bison, probably forming a tall, thick ridge down its back. While the exact function of the spines remains unknown, they may have been involved in communication, fat storage, muscle or temperature control as well as potentially to attract mates. All of its cervical (neck) and dorsal (back) vertebrae had prominent depressions (pleurocoels) on the sides, while the caudal (tail) vertebrae bore smaller ones. This is more similar to carcharodontosaurids than to Allosaurus.
Acrocanthosaurus lived in the Twin Mountains and Antlers Formations which were large floodplains that drained into a shallow inland sea. The Acrocanthosaurus coexisted alongside numerous types of dinosaurs in its environment, such as the smaller theropod Deinonychus, the ornithopods Iguanodon and Tenontosaurus, the spiky nodosaurid Sauropelta, as well as the titanic sauropod Sauroposeidon.
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- Acrocanthosaurus appeared in Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, considered by many to be Jurassic World Evolution's spiritual predecessor.