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Acrocanthosaurus Dinosaur Plaque Acrocanthosaurus meaning “high-spined lizard” is a genus of theropod dinosaur that existed in what is now North America during the Aptian and early Albian stages of the Early Cretaceous.
Acrocanthosaurus was a bipedal predator. As the name suggests, it is best known for the high neural spines on many of its vertebrae, which most likely supported a ridge of muscle over the animal’s neck, back, and hips. Acrocanthosaurus was one of the largest theropods, reaching 38 ft. in length, and weighing up to 6.8 short tons. Large theropod footprints discovered in Texas may have been made by Acrocanthosaurus, although there is no direct association with skeletal remains.
Acrocanthosaurus was among the largest theropods known to exist. The largest known specimen (NCSM 14345) is estimated to have measured 38 ft. from snout to tail tip and weighed 6.3 to 6.8 short tons with an upper maximum weight 7.99 short tons within the realm of possibility for this specimen. Its skull alone was nearly 4.3 ft. in length.
The skull of Acrocanthosaurus was long, low and narrow. The weight-reducing opening in front of the eye socket was quite large, more than a quarter of the length of the skull and two-thirds of its height. The outside surface of the upper jaw bone and the upper surface of the nasal bone on the roof of the snout were not nearly as rough-textured as those of Giganotosaurus or Carcharodontosaurus. Long, low ridges arose from the nasal bones, running along each side of the snout from the nostril back to the eye, where they continued onto the lacrimal bones. The lacrimal and postorbital bones met to form a thick brow over the eye. Nineteen curved, serrated teeth lined each side of the upper jaw. Acrocanthosaurus teeth were wider than those of Carcharodontosaurus and did not have the wrinkled texture that characterized the carcharodontosaurids.
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