Animal life at Petrified Forest includes amphibians, birds,
insects, spiders, mammals, and reptiles. Birds, lizards and rabbits are seen
most frequently, though seasons and weather play a large role in determining
what animals are active.
Activity can change with the season, too. Snakes and lizards are diurnal (active during the day) in late spring and early fall, but they become crepuscular during the heat of summer.
Many animals in the park are nocturnal (active at night). This is an adaptation not only to avoid high summer daytime temperatures, but also to avoid certain predators.
You are much more likely to see animal life in the
park if you come as early as park hours allow and stay as late as allowed.
These are also the times when the angle of the sun makes the views and colors
of the Painted Desert most spectacular.
Did You Know?
The ecosystem at Petrified Forest National Park is not desert. It's one of the largest areas of intact grassland in the Southwest. More...