Last week I visited the Raleigh Museum of Natural Sciences [RMNS]. My intention was to obtain a lot of photographs of North Carolinian rocks and minerals. I had known that the first Gold Rush after Colonization occurred in the Great Smoky Mountains and highlands in the western portion of the state between the Virginia and South Carolina borders. That post will come at a later date.
I’ve never been a huge dinosaur geologist. Frankly, I find broken brachiopods, crinoids, and other shell material far more interesting in the fossil department. However, RMNS has some pretty darn cool dinosaur exhibits that I grabbed some photographs of. One of the showcase exhibits is the Acrocanthosaurus atokensis. In Greek, that means “high-spined lizard from Atoka County” [Atoka County is approximately 150 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, OK]. Acrocanthosaurus was a smaller, less-muscular version of Tyrannosaurus rex [RMNS, 2010]. Acrocanthosaurus lived about 110 million years ago, making it early-Cretaceous in age.
Acrocanthosaurus is a Theropod. For scale in the photo below, it’s about 8-9 feet tall at the hip, making it a pretty big dude that I wouldn’t want to see while I was hanging out in the early-Cretaceous forest munching on some berries. I’m pretty sure you may quote me here that this is the only near-fully complete, standing Acrocathosaurus atokensis in the world. There is a Pleurocoelus nanus [head and tail] and a couple gliding Pterosaurs sun bathing with Acrocanthosaurus:
RMNS, 2010. Terror of the South Exhibit. Raleigh Museum of Natural Sciences. Raleigh, North Carolina. June 10, 2010.