Fossils

red fern fossil
Plant compression fossil

NPS

 

Fossils are the remains of once-living animals. Fossils can provide evidence for the appearance, behavior, physiology, and ecology of groups of organisms that have been extinct for millions of years. Combined with the data provided by the surrounding rocks, fossils tell the stories of ancient ecosystems.

Petrified Forest has plant and animal fossils from the Triassic Period, going back over 200 million years. The Triassic Period is sometimes referred to as the "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" because it is the time before the Jurassic Period when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Discover more about the paleontology of Petrified Forest National Park!

 
Paleontology is the study of ancient ecosystems

Paleontology

Paleontology is the study of ancient ecosystems

The park has an active research program including field and lab work.

Research Activities

The park has an active research program including field and lab work.

Late Triassic ecosystems come to light through research.

Triassic Park

Late Triassic ecosystems come to light through research.

Petrified wood is the fossilized remnant of ancient trees.

Petrified Wood

Petrified wood is the fossilized remnant of ancient trees.

Pseudosuchian archosaurs

Pseudosuchian archosaurs

Crocodiles, alligators, and their extinct relatives

Birds and their extinct relatives

Ornithodiran Archosaurs

Birds and their extinct relatives

Last updated: November 4, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Park Road, PO Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028

Phone:

(928) 524-6228

Contact Us