The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is home to the world’s only real mounted Acrocanthosaurus skeleton, although casts of this specimen are on display at the Maryland Science Center, the Oklahoma Red River Museum, the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Kenosha Dinosaur Discovery Center.
This 50% complete Acrocanthosaurus specimen was discovered in McCurtain County, Oklahoma by amateur fossil hunters Cephis Hall and Sid Love, and was excavated between 1983 and 1986. The bones were encased in a thick layer of pyrite, and several university labs tried unsuccessfully to prepare them before the Black Hills Institute took on the job in 1991. Terry Wentz led the 5-year preparation project at BHI (one of the most challenging of his career), meticulously removing the encrusting pyrite while preserving the delicate fossils.
In 1997, the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences purchased the Acrocanthosaurus from BHI for $3 million. The “Terror of the South” was ready for display in 1999, and was exhibited across from a Pleuroceolus statue. Unfortunately, the Museum team has had some difficulty communicating the rarity of this mount to visitors: at one point, 80% of surveyed guests thought it was a plain old T. rex.
So I’ve been picking away at this for a very, very long time. A hundred or so words here and there whenever I had writer’s block. It is probably the only fic for this pairing I’ll ever manage to finish, so I decided to make the most of it!
“I’ve been expecting you,” Wrathion says, not even looking up from the map. It’s an affectation, Anduin recognizes immediately, almost comically thin in its presentation, as flimsy as a screen of spider-silk, as shadows moving beneath glass. Anduin has spent his entire life in the royal court; he’s watched trusted guardians fall from grace with absurd precision, peeling back their skin to reveal traitors and monsters. He decides quickly that Wrathion does not intimidate him. He decides quickly that Wrathion does not impress him. Wrathion - the Black Prince of Azeorth, the last of Deathwing’s Flight - sits cross-legged on a wooden table in the heart of a gambling den with a red-ink pen tucked behind one ear and a thin ribbon of smoke spiraling lazy from the corner of his mouth. He looks young despite the pretense, and he looks like he is trying too hard.
Word Count: 9689
(I tried not to make it too graphic, but take that cannibalism warning at the top serious, folks.)