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Petrified Forest National Park

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Bentonite Clay Hills, Petrified Wood

Petrified Forest is a U.S. National Park with a recently expanded boundary increasing the acreage to 218,533 acres. The park is located in northeastern Arizona, about 3.5 hours driving time from Phoenix, Arizona.

The park hosts one of the largest and most colorful collections of petrified wood in the world. The fossils are found strewn throughout the badlands of the Chinle Formation known as the Painted Desert.

Petrified Forest National Park
PO Box 2217
Petrified Forest, AZ 86028
Phone: (928) 524-6228
Website: http://www.nps.gov/pefo/index.htm

Fossils

In 2004, scientists unearthed the fossil of a small crocodile in the Petrified National Forest Park, upsetting previously-held ideas of dinosaur evolution and completely wiping out theories of co-evolution in ornithischian dinosaurs. The creature unearthed was judged to have existed in the Triassic Period (around 200 million years ago) and was thought to be an ancestor of dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus and Triceratops. However, such dinosaurs did not come along until the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, according to evolution. According to the University of California - Berkeley, the find "does not merely disappoint rockhounds, who sell the abundant teeth as 'dinosaur teeth,' but it also throws into question the identity of other presumed dinosaur ancestors known only from teeth, which includes all Late Triassic ornithischians outside South America."[1]

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Gallery

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