8 Ancient Sea Life Creatures You’ll Find in Moab
Mar 8, 2018
By: Chad Taylor
You wouldn’t think of Moab as a hotbed for extinct sea life, but you’re dead wrong.
You know Delicate Arch from the license plate. You’ve seen your hippie friend’s red-rock-only Instagram. But Moab is more than a couple fancy photo ops, bucket-list hikes, and epic mountain biking/offroading. This town pays homage to its (alleged) first inhabitants.
Moab Giants is located at the north end of town. It’s fun, educational, and air conditioned (perfect for the warm desert days). Their 5D Prehistoric Aquarium is a favorite amongst Moab tourists. It’s as cutting edge as its featured creatures are ancient. Here are eight species you’ll get to know in this virtual reality aquarium.
Plesiosaurus –– 135 to 120 million years ago
This guy looked like a combination of a snake and a turtle, and probably wasn’t a very good swimmer. That’s not an indictment. They were twice as long as a modern horse and weighed twice as much as a modern hog. So they have that going for them.
Protostega –– 65 to 98 million years ago
This ancient sea turtle (awwwww…..) was the second largest to have ever lived –– darn that Archelon. But this guy was light and fast, and dined on jellyfish and shellfish. Not a bad existence, until it wasn’t.
Liopleurodon –– 160 to 155 million years ago
The apex predator of the Jurassic seas (not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds formidable). A massive skull and jaw gave it a powerful bite. And its four broad, flat, long flippers helped it glide through the water as it hunted for prey.
Mosasaurus –– 90 million years ago
A colossal creature you may recognize from Jurassic World. This behemoth has massive hinged jaws (like a snake) which helps it swallow its prey whole –– like when it swallowed the great white shark in the aforementioned motion picture.
Shonisaurus –– 216 to 203 million years ago
This fella was hefty (big boned?) weighing it at approximately 66,000 pounds. This toothless predator loved him some soft-bodied animals like cephalopods and squid. Would’ve been fun to get sushi with.
Basilosaurus –– 40 to 35 million years ago
Known as “King Lizard”, this early whale swam near the surface of the water and dined on sharks and other fishes. It had a small brain, but a very sweet spirit.
Dunkleosteus –– 382 to 358 millions years ago
The elder statesman of the group, this species had one of the most powerful bites of any prehistoric sea creature and was larger than a modern day killer whale.
Megalodon –– 23 to 2.6 million years ago
The main attraction. This prehistoric shark’s name means “big tooth”. During the tour of the aquarium, you’ll get up close (kids might think it’s too close, so use your judgement) and personal with this predator in a virtual “shark attack” experience.
Click here to learn more about Moab Giants, see pricing, and plan your visit.