The Acrocanthosaurus was a very large theropod that lived during the Lower Cretaceous Period, approximately 115 to 105 million years ago. This dinosaur belonged to the Carcharodontosauridae family, which consists of other carnivorous theropod dinosaurs.

Key facts

Acrocanthosaurus pronunciationThe name Acrocanthosaurus can be pronounced as “ah-kroh-kan-tho-SORE-us”.
What does Acrocanthosaurus mean?The name Acrocanthosaurus was derived from Greek and when translated, means “high-spined lizard”.
Dinosaur typeTheropod
On the menuCarnivore
Length38 feet (11.5 meters)
Height16 feet (4.8 meters)
Weight12.000 to 16,000 lbs (5 – 7 tons)
Life expectancy70-80 years
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speed 25 mph (40.2 kph).
When they livedLower Cretaceous 115-105 million years ago.
Where they have been found?Atoka, Oklahoma

When & Where

To this day, the first fossils of the Acrocanthosaurus were found in 1940 by paleontologists J. Willis Stovall and Wann Langston, Jr near the location of Atoka, Oklahoma. The other remains of this dinosaur were found in Utah, Texas, and in Maryland.

Size & Weight

With relatives like the Carcharodontosaurus and the Giganotosaurus, the Acrocanthosaurus was large enough during its time. This dinosaur reached 4.8 meters (16 feet) in height, 11.5 meters (38 feet) in length, and was as heavy as 6.3-8 tons (12,600 to 16,000 lbs) in weight. There was no doubt that this dinosaur was enormous as well.

Mobility & Diet

Being one of the large dinosaurs during the Early Cretaceous Period, studies suggest that the Acrocanthosaurus was carnivorous and may have fed off smaller sauropods, hadrosaurs, and other small dinosaurs.

Interesting Points

  • There are only 7 different specimens that have been found by scientists and paleontologists.
  • The most unique point about the Acrocanthosaurus was its long spine that runs from the neck until the tip of the tail. There were also different theories as to what purpose the spine do, if it helped the dinosaur in terms of health, or if it was only for a form of visual representation.