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Ichnology is the branch of science that studies the traces of organismal behavior. This includes but is not limited to footprints, markings, rock art and engravings. At Moab Giants we are dedicated to bring the stories of the past to life through researching and sharing these traces with you. We have many exhibits, fossilized footprint casts, original footprints, as well as a rock art gallery dedicated to this goal.
Every dinosaur leaves behind only one skeleton, but millions of tracks, making them very influential in the study of dinosaurs. From these tracks we are able to learn what species of dinosaurs roamed, what they ate, their travel patterns, hunting techniques, size based on length of stride. Sometimes it can be told how they died and even clue us in on their mating rituals!
Moab is at the heart of the dinosaur-diamond, and home to one of the largest concentrations of dinosaur tracks in the world! For more information on dinosaur track sites click here.
The time spent will depend on the depth of your exploration. We typically suggest planning 2-3 hours with us, while some end up spending less time and others make it an all-day adventure! Some factors to consider in time-management would be if you are purchasing the all-inclusive Discovery pass, or the outdoor-only Dino Pass. Other questions to consider while planning: How much you plan to read and learn? If you have children, how long will you allow them to play at the dig-it-out and playground areas? Will you be eating in the park?
This is our all-inclusive indoor and outdoor pass. It includes the Interactive Tracks Museum, 3D Theater, 5D Prehistoric Aquarium, as well as the outdoor Dinosaur Trail, Dig-It-Out Sites, PaleoCamp and Playground.
This is our outdoor pass only. It includes the Dinosaur Trail, Dig-It-Out Sites, PaleoCamp and Playground.
The 5D Prehistoric Aquarium is a virtual aquarium that feels real. The majority of the sea creatures shown are harmless and low-intensity. However, the Megalodon shark has proven to be an intense adrenaline rush that leave some kids crying and others wanting more. Parents, please be advised you can take young children out just before the shark room if you feel it will be too much for them.
Arches national park is approx. – miles south of Moab Giants on HWY 191. Canyonlands is approx.- miles west on SR 313. Dead Horse Point is approx. 22 miles west on SR 313.
Only service animals are allowed in the park.
The 3D movie is a 10 minute recreation of the Big Bang theory and introduction to the trail. This shows every 30 minutes on the ½ hour. ie. 10:30, 11, 11:30...
This virtual “walking theater” is guided and takes about 15 minutes. It shows every 30 minutes on the ¼ hour. ie. 10:15, 10:45, 11:15...
We have military, senior and local discounts for our admission prices only. For group sizes 15+, please contact us for group and school discounts.
Our annual members have unlimited access to the park during opening hours and events, including pass holder and whoever is covered under their particular pass. Members will receive an additional 10% off in the café and gift shop at any time during their membership. Members also have the option to be a Moab Giants donor, recognized with their name on a plaque.
145-65 Million Years Ago
During the Cretaceous the land separated further into some of the continents we know today, although in different positions. This meant that dinosaurs evolved independently in different parts of the world, becoming more diverse.
Other groups of organisms also diversified. The first snakes evolved during this time, as well as the first flowering plants. Various insect groups appeared, including bees, which helped increase the spread of flowering plants. And the mammal group now included tree climbers, ground dwellers and even predators of small dinosaurs.
Sea levels rose and fell during the Cretaceous. At the highest point there were many shallow seas separating parts of the continents we know today. For example, Europe was made up of many smaller islands. Thick layers of sediment built up at the bottom of these seas as single-celled algae died and their skeletons fell to the seabed.
This is how most of the chalk we use today was first formed. So much so, that ‘Cretaceous’ comes from the Latin for chalk, creta.
200-145 Millions Years Ago
At the end of the Triassic Period there was a mass extinction, the causes of which are still hotly debated. Many large land animals were wiped out but the dinosaurs survived, giving them the opportunity to evolve into a wide variety of forms and increase in number.
The single land mass, Pangaea, split into two, creating Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south. Despite this separation, similarities in the fossil records show that there were land bridges between the two continents.
Temperatures fell slightly, although it was still warmer than today due to higher amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Rainfall increased as a result of the large seas appearing between the land masses.
These changes allowed plants such as ferns and horsetails to grow over huge areas. Some of this vegetation became the fossil fuels that we mine today. Elsewhere there were forests of tall conifer trees such as sequoias and monkey puzzles.
The plentiful plant supply allowed the huge plant-eating sauropods – such as Apatosaurus, Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus – to evolve. These are the largest animals to have ever walked the Earth. By the end of the Jurassic their herds dominated the landscape.
250-200 Million Years Ago
All continents were part of a single landmass called Pangaea during the Triassic Period. This meant that there weren’t many differences between the animals or plants found in different areas.
The climate was relatively hot and dry, and much of the land was covered with large deserts. Unlike today, there were no polar ice caps.
It was in this environment that the reptiles known as dinosaurs first evolved. Reptiles tend to flourish in hot climates because their skin is less porous than mammal skin, for example, so it loses less water in the heat. Reptile kidneys are also better at conserving water.
Towards the end of the Triassic, a series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused Pangaea to slowly begin to break into two. This was the birth of the Atlantic Ocean.
Dinosaurs lived between 230 and 65 million years ago, in a time known as the Mesozoic Era.
Scientists divide the Mesozoic Era into three periods: the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. During this time, the land gradually split up from one huge continent into smaller ones. The associated changes in the climate and vegetation affected how dinosaurs evolved.