Acrocanthosaurus(high ridge lizard) was a large theropod from North America. This giant predator is the second largest theropod discovered on the continent after Tyrannosaurus. Acrocanthosaurus lived roughly 100-115 million years ago.
Acrocanthosaurus was had the basic large theropod body form with a few exceptions. It's prominent ridge measured over a foot and a half(.46 meters) tall. Acrocanthosaurus also had strong arms with three fingers. It's large skull was over 4 feet(1.2 meters) long and housed dozens of sharp teeth over 5 inches long.
SizeEditAcrocanthosaurus is known from pretty complete remains. Minimally, adults measured about 33 feet(10 meters) long and weighed about 2.5 tons. They averaged roughly 36-40 feet(11-12 meters) long and weighed about 3-4.5 tons. Some estimates as high as 43 feet(13 meters) and 6-7 tons have been published, but there is little evidence for this.
Hunting and DietEditAcrocanthosaurus was the top predator of it's time. As such, it was able to bring down almost anything. Sauropods and iguanodonts were probably it's most common prey. Ankylosaurs were present at the time, but these would have been difficult to bring down, even for a fully grown Acrocanthosaurus. Most evidence points to this dinosaur being solitary.
The exact function of the ridge is not known. Some scientists have proposed thermoregulation as a reason. Others think that, since it was covered in muscle, the ridge would have given the animal added strength and power. Another leading theory is that it was for display. The odds of fully understanding the function of the ridge are low.
In Popular CultureEdit
Overshadowed by the larger and more famous T.rex, Acrocanthosaurus has had little involvement in the media. It has been featured in a few documentaries like Prehistoric: Dallas and Prehistoric: Washington DC. A handful of video games have also depicted this dinosaur. Acrocanthosaurus will probably continue to gain press as the years go on, but the likelyhood of it surpassing T.rex is low.