20 Objects That Shape Oklahoma

Photo by Jerry Poppenhouse.
Photo courtesy Museum of the Red River.
Photo courtesy Museum of the Red River.

Acrocanthosaurus atokensis (“High-spined lizard from Atoka”)

Museum of the Red River Idabel

This carnivorous dinosaur (theropod) was first discovered in early-mid Cretaceous deposits (125-100 million years old) near Atoka, Okla., in 1940. Similar specimens have been found in southeast Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. It is the largest predator known from its time and was designated the State Dinosaur of Oklahoma in 2005. A cast of the fossil skeleton is found at the Museum of the Red River; the original skeleton is housed at the North Carolina Museum of Natural History.