Visualize a large stream with abundant tributary and torrent fluid through the valley. Galleries of foliage, ferns, and gigantic horsetails grew in large quantities along the river, providing food and shelter for many insects, amphibians, reptiles, and other creatures. In the faintly dryer areas a short remoteness from the water there were cycads, bennettitaleans, ginkgoes, and coniferous trees soaring almost two-hundred feet into the sky.
During the Triassic Period, the type of weather was very different from that of today. Located near the equator, this area was moist and steamy, the landscape dominated by a watercourse system larger than anything on Earth today. Gigantic reptiles and amphibians, early dinosaurs, fish, and many invertebrates lived among the opaque vegetation and in the winding waterways. New fossils draw closer to light as paleontologists continue to study the Triassic treasure trove of Petrified Forest National Park.