Did you know that the Petrified Forest National Park was established in 1962? The park is located in Arizona and is known for its fossils, especially petrified wood. Petrified wood comes from ancient trees that fell down and were buried quickly in sediment and volcanic ash. Eventually minerals, such as silica, seeped into the logs and slowly replaced the organic wood. Other fossils found in the park include other plants, crocodile-like reptiles, salamander-like amphibians, early dinosaurs, snails, and clams.
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The park is about 230 square miles. It was declared a national monument in 1906. About 800,000 visit the Petrified Forest National Park each year.
Currently the park has a dry and windy climate. 225 million years ago that area was part of the super continent Pangaea and was actually located near the equator. It was humid and subtropical.
Other fossilized plants include ferns, conifers, ginkgoes, and more.
The different colors in petrified wood come from different minerals that seeped into the wood during the petrification process.
In addition to the fossils, you can find archeological sites including pueblos and petroglyphs.
Theft of petrified wood is a very large problem for the park. Despite warning signs, fines, and park rangers, an estimated 11,000 kgs of petrified wood is stolen each year.