The Cenozoic era began about 65 million years ago and proceeds into the present.

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A mural in ~ the Smithsonian Institution reflects mammals the ruled the Earth throughout the Miocene epoch. (Image credit: windy domain.)
The Cenozoic era, i beg your pardon began around 65 million years back and proceeds into the present, is the third documented era in the background of Earth. The existing locations that the continents and their modern-day inhabitants, including humans, deserve to be traced to this period.


The era began on a large down note, recording the tail end of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event at the nearby of the Cretaceous duration that wiped out the staying non-avian dinosaurs.

The term Cenozoic, an initial spelled "Kainozoic," to be originally used in an 1840 entrance in the coin Cyclopedia encyclopedia in an article written by british geologist man Phillips. The name is derived from the Greek phrase an interpretation “recent life.”


Paleogene period (65-23 million year ago), which consists of the Paleocene, Eocene and also Oligocene epochs);Neogene period (23-2.6 million years ago), which has the Miocene and Pliocene epochs);

Climate and geography

The worldwide climate the the early part of the Cenozoic period was much warmer 보다 it is today, and the overall climate the the planet was much much more consistent regardless of proximity come the equator.


The most significant period of global warming, well-known as the Paleocene–Eocene heat Maximum, took location of 55.8 million years ago. The was complied with by a lengthy cool, dry period. The current worldwide warming occasion has been collection off mostly by human being activity.

Each segment of the Cenozoic experienced different climates. During the Paleogene period, many of the Earth’s climate was tropical. The Neogene duration saw a correct cooling, which ongoing into the Pleistocene date of the Quaternary period.

As because that the transforming landscape, the continents drifted apart during the Paleogene period, creating large stretches the oceans. This had actually a far-ranging impact ~ above the climate and also marine life bordering each continent.


During the Pleistocene epoch, glaciers covered main North America, extending as far eastern as brand-new York, south to Kansas and also Nebraska and west come the northern West Coast. The an excellent Lakes were developed as the glaciers receded.

Several the the world’s foremost mountain ranges, including the Alps, Himalayas and the Rocky Mountains, were formed throughout the Cenozoic era.

Life throughout the Cenozoic Era

The Cenozoic era is also known together the period of Mammals due to the fact that the extinct of countless groups of huge mammals, enabling smaller species to thrive and diversify because their predators no longer existed. Because of the huge span of time spanned by the period, that is helpful to comment on the animal population by the milestone the the era rather than in generalities.

The beginning of the Paleogene duration was a time because that the mammals that endured from the Cretaceous period. Later in this period, rodents and small horses, such as Hyracotherium, are common and also rhinoceroses and elephants appear. Together the period ends, dogs, cats and also pigs come to be commonplace. Various other than a couple of birds that were classified together dinosaurs, many notable the Titanis, the dinosaurs were gone. Big flightless birds, such together the Diatryma, thrived.

The Neogene period gives rise to early primates, including early on humans. Bovids, including cattle, sheep, goats, antelope and also gazelle, flourish during this period.

Cave lions, sabre-toothed cats, cave bears, huge deer, woolly rhinoceroses, and also woolly mammoths to be prevailing species of the Quaternary period.

Without the dinosaurs, plant life had an opportunity to flourish throughout the Cenozoic era. Nearly every tree living today had its root in the Cenozoic era. Throughout the early part of the era, woodlands overran most of phibìc America. However, together the climate cooled forests died off, developing open land.

Due to the widening that the oceans, sharks, whales and also other maritime life proliferated. The good Lakes that created in the western joined States during the Eocene epoch were the perfect house for bass, trout and other fresh-water species.

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As the forests thinned, grasses began to spread out out over the plains of north America and also savannas spanned the soil in the middle of the continent. Among the usual plant life were pines, mosses, oaks and grasses. Flower plants and edible crops conquer the see in the later part of this era as human beings cultivate the land.