• Jasper Forest is magical in twilight, particularly the logs on stone pedestals

    Petrified Forest

    National Park Arizona

Animals

rabbit sitting in snow

Cottontail rabbit sitting quietly in the snow.

NPS Photo

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.

For many animals, activity occurs during a particular temperature range. Crepuscular animals are active at dawn and dusk, the coolest times of day. The half-darkness makes prey animals less visible, yet visibility is good enough to locate food.

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.

Whenever you are in a national park, do not approach, feed, or harass any wildlife. Help your parks reduce the impact of human visitors to the homeland of many wild species.

 
 

Did You Know?

Pallid bat sleeping on a wall.

There are about ten known species of bats in the park. This is a pallid bat sleeping at the Painted Desert Complex. Discover more about mammals of Petrified Forest. More...