Petrified Forest of Arizona

By: Solomon Amaning

Natural History

During the summer days, temperatures range from 90 to 100 degrees. At nighttime, lows are in the 50s. In winter, the highs are in the 40s or 50s, or much colder with highs only in the 20s. Annual rainfall is 9 to 10 inches. There is occasional snow in the winter. High winds can occur any time of year. Humidity is usually low. Also, elevation is 5500 feet above sea level. Animal life at Petrified Forest includes amphibians, birds, insects, spiders, mammal, and reptiles. Birds, lizards and rabbits are seen most frequently.

Petrified Forest National Park

Why Preserve Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest was set aside as a national monument in 1906 to preserve and protect the petrified wood for its scientific value. Today it is known to have more than just wood. some new finding includes a broad representation of the Late Triassic paleo-ecosystem. Scientific studies are on-going at the park. Paleontologists find new fossils, including new species of plants and animals, each year. Biologists study living plants and animals, including vegetation surveys and reptile, amphibian, and mammal projects. Air quality, weather and seismic monitoring stations constantly generate new data.
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Threats to the Park

One of the biggest threats to Petrified Forest is the tourist that harvest petrified wood. Over the past years, the tourist took away multiple pieces of the petrified wood, averaging about 12 tons per year. The main way the park has fought to keep their wood is by placing signs that warn about heavy fines.
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