Preview

Pliocene Epoch

Better Essays
Open Document
Open Document
1533 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Pliocene Epoch
The Pliocene is the fifth epoch of the Cenozoic. The epoch started around five million years ago and lasted almost three and a half million years. It is during the Pliocene that the first bipedal ancestors of humans are known to have evolved. Dramatic cooling and a drop in sea level impacted both marine and terrestrial life at the start of the epoch.
The name Pliocene means "more recent” and this were the most recent epoch of Tertiary period, lasting from about 5 to 2 million years ago. Compared to previous epochs this was a relatively brief period, "only" 3 million years. During this time the world became much more like it is today, with ice caps, modern mammals, relatively modern geography, and the evolution of prehistoric man ("ape man") ( see figure 1).
“The Pliocene was a time of global cooling after the warmer Miocene. The cooling and drying of the global environment may have contributed to the enormous spread of grasslands and savannas during this time. The change in vegetation undoubtedly was a major factor in the rise of long-legged grazers who came to live in these areas.
Additionally, the Panamanian land-bridge between North and South America appeared during the Pliocene, allowing migrations of plants and animals into new habitats. Of even greater impact was the accumulation of ice at the poles, which would lead to the extinction of most species living there, as well as the advance of glaciers and ice ages of the Late Pliocene and the following Pleistocene.” (Palmer 1999)
The world was approaching that of today, and continents had taken up their present-day positions. During this time, India collided with Asia and gave rise to the Himalayan Mountains, the Himalayan uplift triggering a great global cooling (or accelerating the already unfolding cooling process)
The Pliocene saw the continuation of the climatic cooling that had began in the Miocene, with subtropical regions retreating equatorially, the beginning of the large ice caps, especially in



References: Barron, JA (1999), 4. Data report: Mid-Pliocene diatom assemblages at sites 1016, 1021, and 1022, in S Nessler, CM Miller & LL Peters [eds.], Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results 167. www.webdyer.com/.../cenozoic_epochs/Pliocene.htm McKinney, FK & PD Taylor (2001), Bryozoan generic extinctions and originations during the last one hundred million years. Palaeontologia Electronica. www.cmpb.net/en/cenozoique.php Palmer, A, BA Wood & PB deMenocal (1999), The influence of global climatic change and regional uplift on large-mammalian evolution in East and southern Africa, in ES Vrba, GH Denton, TC Partridge & LH Burckle [eds.], Paleoclimate and Evolution, With Emphasis on Human http://anthropology.si.edu/humanorigins/faq/gt/cenozoic/pliocene.htm Serrano, F, JM González-Donoso, & D Linares (1999), 14. Biostratigraphy and paleoceanography of the Pliocene at Sites 975 (Menorca rise) and 976 (Alboran Sea) from a quantitative analysis of the planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, in R Zahn, MC Comas, & A Klaus [eds.], Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results 161, 11 pp. Todd, JA, JBC Jackson, KG Johnson, HM Fortunato, A Heitz, M Alvarez & P Jung (2002), The ecology of extinction: Molluscan feeding and faunal turnover in the Caribbean Neogene. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B269: 571-577.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Paleolithic era was an era that started two million years ago, and ended ten thousand years ago. This era often called the Old Stone Age was when human evolution took place, it was a very slow going change from ape like humans to today’s Homo sapiens. This era is important because during this time humans started to make stone tools for hunting, making shelter and creating clothing, and without this era who knows where we would be now,…

    • 1569 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The spread of humans especially impacted the wildlife in the areas such as the Americas and Australia, where animals had the least time co-evolving alongside with humans. The smoking gun of the Quaternary extinction lies within the vegetation. The Last Glacial Maximum cut out a lot of the protein-rich forbs and it wasn’t as abundant…

    • 977 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Moore, Raymond C.; Lalicker, Cecil G; Fischer, Alfred G. Invertebrate Fossils. McGraw-Hill Book Co. Pg. 487…

    • 1291 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Cenozoic is divided into three periods, the Paleogene, the Neogene, and the Quaternary. Paleogene and Neogene are relatively new terms that now replace the deprecated term, Tertiary. The Paleogene is subdivided into three epochs, the Paleocene, the Eocene, and the Oligocene. The Neogene is subdivided into two epochs, the Miocene and Pliocene.…

    • 53 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Origins of bipedalism

    • 972 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Department of Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin. (2007) Introduction to Bipedalism : Bipedalism Geological Age & Climate. Available at http://elucy.org/Main/BipedalismGeologicalAgeAmpClimate.html (Accessed 10th October 2013)…

    • 972 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    15,000 Years ago the climate began warming and there were more defined seasons, which affected human and animal migration.…

    • 514 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Cretaceous Period

    • 367 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The early Cretaceous Period is where plant life, also known as Angiosperms, first began to blossom, this caused a growth in insects populations. The climate was the coldest for the Mesozoic times as glaciers appeared at the poles. Due to the steady increase of CO2 levels the cooler weather was gone and a warming period replaced it.…

    • 367 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Paleolithic Era

    • 767 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Within the Paleolithic era, many changes occurred from cultural to biological. Several of the changes the happened in this time period, have remained today. At the beginning of the Paleolithic era our primate ancestors existed, but by the end humans in our modern form existed across the world. Homo sapiens sapiens remains have been dated to 100,000 years ago. The emergence of art, the beginning of personal adornment, the domestication of the dog, and intentional burials started in this time period.…

    • 767 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Palaeolithic meaning old stone, which is about (2.6 million years – 300,000 years ago). Having a Lower, Middle and Upper stone age for Palaeolithic.…

    • 1437 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Carroll, R. L. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W. H. Freeman and Company, New York.…

    • 2104 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Mesozoic Era

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In this report I will be explaining a few facts about the Mesozoic era coming from the documentary “The day the Mesozoic Died”. This small film expresses how in many ways these creatures once inhabited our planet and disappeared completely in almost a blink of an eye. The Mesozoic Era could also be described simply as what most of our population knows as the Dinosaur Era.…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Unit 9 Mass Extinctions

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages

    as glaciers formed. An ice age has been the one to blame for the cause of the…

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Paleolithic was where the human beings, in that time they were still hunter, gatherers, which is mean they are usually move around to search for food. The woman and…

    • 595 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The second period was the Neogene Period, this period lasted from 23-2.6 million years. During this period, mountains and landforms were crashing into each other. India and Asia continued to move closer to each other, soon this caused the Himalayan Mountain Range to form. Soon Italy moved north into Europe and this caused the raising of the Alps.…

    • 172 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Mass Extinction

    • 1304 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Prothero, D.R. (2004). Bringing FOSSILS to life: An introduction to Paleobiology (2nd ed.). Extinction. New York: McGraw-Hill.…

    • 1304 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays

Related Topics