The State Dinosaur of Oklahoma may not have been the first, but it is certainly one of the fiercest of all state dinosaurs. it has 6 inch claws, rows of razor sharp teeth, and was found in the state along with the state fossil. Both the state fossil and state dinosaur of Oklahoma were large carnivores, making quite the team if ever it came to a state competition! We take a look at both in the article below.
Acrocanthosaurus was named as the State dinosaur of Oklahoma in 2006, joining Saurophaganax another large carnivorous predator that had become the state fossil of Oklahoma in 2000. Both Dinosaur fossils have been found in Oklahoma, with Acrocanthosaurus being found in 1950 in the Antlers formation.
Although Acrocanthosaurus and Saurophaganax are not as well known as other large predators like Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus they were certainly both formidable and it easy to see why they are the state symbols of Oklahoma.
Acrocanthosaurus: The State Dinosaur of Oklahoma
We have some quick facts about the Oklahoma State dinosaur, the Acrocanthosaurus below for you and have included the most important of these in a table to make access easier as well.
Acrocanthosaurus Quick Facts
Acrocanthosaurus was a large carnivorous dinosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous period, around 110 million years ago. It was a theropod, which means it was a bipedal dinosaur with sharp teeth and claws.
Acrocanthosaurus was known for the distinctive spines along its back, which were likely used for display purposes rather than defense. It was one of the largest theropods and carnivores of its time, measuring around 36 feet in length and weighing around 11,000 pounds.
Acrocanthosaurus was native to what is now the United States, and its fossils have been found in several states including Texas, Wyoming and Oklahoma, which as we mentioned it is the State dinosaur of, and has been since 2006.
Here are some facts about Acrocanthosaurus:
- Acrocanthosaurus was a large, carnivorous dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 113 -110 million years ago.
- It was named for the distinctive spines that ran along its back, which were up to 11 inches (28 cm) tall. These spines were likely used for display and possibly for thermoregulation.
- Acrocanthosaurus was one of the largest predatory dinosaurs of its time, with a length of up to 36-38 feet (11 – 12 meters) and a weight of around 11,000 lbs or 5100 kg.
- It was a member of the allosauroid group of theropod dinosaurs, which also includes animals like Allosaurus and Sinraptor.
- Acrocanthosaurus had a powerful skull with sharp, serrated teeth that were well-suited for tearing through flesh.
- It is believed to have lived in what is now the southeastern United States, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- The first Acrocanthosaurus fossils were discovered in Oklahoma in the 1940s, and 1950s, although more complete fossils have been found both in Oklahoma and Texas. .
- Acrocanthosaurus is now the state dinosaur of Arkansas and has been since 2006.
- Acrocanthosaurus is pronounced with 6 syllables, and can be said like this. Ak – Roh – Can – Tha – Saw – Rus
|Dinosaur Name||State Dinosaur of||Length||Height||Weight||When Lived||When and where Discovered|
|Acrocanthosaurus||Oklahoma, 2006||36-38 feet (11-12 metres)||12 + (3-4 metres)||up to 11,000 lbs 5000 kg)||113-110 million years ago||Oklahoma, 1940-50|
Why is Acrocanthosaurus the State Dinosaur of Oklahoma?
Oklahoma seems to have a love of state symbols and a state dinosaur of Oklahoma was always on the cards after the state fossil, after the fossil Saurophaganax) was adopted in 2000.
It is perhaps this state fossil that led to Acrocanthosaurus becoming the state dinosaur of Oklahoma in 2006 as both were ferocious carnivores that lived in and around what is now Oklahoma. However it did take another 6 years to name Acrocanthosaurus.
Acrocanthosaurus was found in Oklahoma, like Saurophaganax, and one of the most complete fossils was also found here. IT is a little younger, and a little smaller, than its state fossil cousin so maybe seniority had something to do with the timing of becoming state fossil of Oklahoma.
Acrocanthosaurus lived in Oklahoma and surrounding states around 125 to 112 million years ago, while the state fossil, Saurophaganax, lived a little earlier at 151 or so million years ago.
Where was Acrocanthosaurus discovered?
Acrocanthosaurus was discovered in the United States, specifically in the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The first Acrocanthosaurus fossil was discovered in Oklahoma in the 1940s and 1950s, and several more have been found since then including more complete versions.
It is believed to have lived in the Southeastern United States during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 110-112 million years ago. Acrocanthosaurus is now the state dinosaur of Oklahoma.
What is the State Fossil of Oklahoma?
The official state fossil of Oklahoma is the Saurophaganax maximus. Saurophaganax maximus was a large, carnivorous dinosaur that lived in what is now Oklahoma during the Late Jurassic period, approximately 154-144 million years ago.
It was a member of the allosauroid group of theropod dinosaurs, which also includes animals like Allosaurus and Acrocanthosaurus. The Saurophaganax maximus fossil was discovered in Oklahoma in the 1930s, and it is now housed at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman.
- Saurophaganax was a large, carnivorous dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period, approximately 154-144 million years ago.
- It was a member of the allosauroid group of theropod dinosaurs, which also includes animals like Allosaurus and Acrocanthosaurus.
- Saurophaganax was one of the largest predatory dinosaurs of its time, with a length of up to 45 feet (14 meters) and a weight of around 10 tons.
- It had a powerful skull with sharp, serrated teeth that were well-suited for tearing through flesh.
- Saurophaganax is known from a single specimen that was discovered in Oklahoma in the 1930s.
- The name Saurophaganax means “lizard-eating master,” referring to its role as a top predator.
- Saurophaganax is now the state fossil of Oklahoma.
you can check out the other state dinosaurs, those that have adopted one as a state symbol, here in the following list.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
You can also read more about State dinosaurs in our US State dinosaur page as well linked here and below.
Two fearsome predators occupy the state dinosaur of Oklahoma and the State fossil of oklahoma and at the time in the Late Jurassic and early Cretaceous Periods there was little to compete with them
Both The Oklahoma State dinosaur and the fossil, Acrocanthosaurus and Saurophaganax were the apex predators of their time, and both lived in what is now oklahoma. We are not sure which of those was most important when choosing the state dinosaur of Oklahoma though!
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.