Thursday, August 28, 2014

Moenkop Dinosaur Tracks


Turns that just outside of Tuba City, Arizona is a huge field of early Jurassic dinosaur tracks. Who knew.

There is a hand-painted sign by the side of the road and a gravel parking lot with a few venders selling Navaho crafts. Some of the locals offer to give guided tours, but I turned them down in favor of just wandering, carefully, along the edges of the tracks (there are no fences or signs, just piles and lines of rocks the locals have made to outline certain areas. I watched three kids run around right on top of some of the tracks and cringed a bit).

There is very little information online about this insanely cool place. There's some about the legends from the people who've lived next to them for thousands of years. There is one published paper by Wells from 1971 (couldn't find online). According to an article from 2012, the Navajo Nation plans to develop a tourist center at the site, but for now there hasn't been much development or scientific study of the site, which sort of boggles the mind. This brief note on the Experience Hopi website is about the only reliable info you'll currently find online. Wikipedia doesn't even have a stub article on the site. That's how bad it is (and probably why creationists, who love both made up shit and information vacuums, have latched onto the site and claim there are human footprints alongside the dinosaurs, thus disproving evolution.)







K-Koira said...

I really seriously want to go see these now! Are there any dinosaur sites closer to Oregon that you know of?

Suzanne said...

I've never been to any dinosaur tracks in Oregon, but I highly recommend visiting Fossil, OR and digging for plant fossils there. Literally, it's a hillside behind the town's high school and you can just walk up and dig fossils out of it. You can find some decent ones, too. Worth spending a few hours there, and the country is beautiful, too.