Paleogene

Geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous Period million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Neogene Period Mya.

- Paleogene

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Basilosaurus

Cenozoic

Earth's current geological era, representing the last 66million years of Earth's history.

Earth's current geological era, representing the last 66million years of Earth's history.

Basilosaurus
Megafauna of Pleistocene Europe (mammoths, cave lions, woolly rhino, reindeer, horses)

The Cenozoic is divided into three periods: the Paleogene, Neogene, and Quaternary; and seven epochs: the Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene.

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Geologic time scale

Representation of time based on the rock record of Earth.

Representation of time based on the rock record of Earth.

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Graphical representation of Earth's history as a spiral
Geologic time scale with proportional representation of eons/eonothems and eras/erathems. Cenozoic is abbreviated to Cz. The image also shows some notable events in Earth's history and the general evolution of life.

For example, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, marks the lower boundary of the Paleogene System/Period and thus the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene Systems/Periods.

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Neogene

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The Neogene, informally Upper Tertiary or Late Tertiary, is a geologic period and system that spans 20.45 million years from the end of the Paleogene Period million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the present Quaternary Period Mya.

Discoscaphites iris ammonite from the Owl Creek Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Owl Creek, Ripley, Mississippi

Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event

Sudden mass extinction of three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, approximately 66 million years ago.

Sudden mass extinction of three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, approximately 66 million years ago.

Discoscaphites iris ammonite from the Owl Creek Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Owl Creek, Ripley, Mississippi
Rudist bivalves from the Late Cretaceous of the Omani Mountains, United Arab Emirates. Scale bar is 10 mm.
Kronosaurus Hunt, a rendering by Dmitry Bogdanov in 2008. Large marine reptiles, including plesiosaurians such as these, became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous.
Tyrannosaurus was among the dinosaurs living on Earth before the extinction.
Hell Creek Formation
The K–Pg boundary exposure in Trinidad Lake State Park, in the Raton Basin of Colorado, shows an abrupt change from dark- to light-colored rock.
Radar topography reveals the 180 km-wide ring of the Chicxulub crater.
Artistic impression of the asteroid slamming into tropical, shallow seas of the sulfur-rich Yucatán Peninsula in what is today Southeast Mexico. The aftermath of this immense asteroid collision, which occurred approximately 66 million years ago, is believed to have caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs and many other species on Earth. The impact spewed hundreds of billions of tons of sulfur into the atmosphere, producing a worldwide blackout and freezing temperatures which persisted for at least a decade.
The river bed at the Moody Creek Mine, 7 Mile Creek / Waimatuku, Dunollie, New Zealand contains evidence of a devastating event on terrestrial plant communities at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, confirming the severity and global nature of the event.
An artist's rendering of Thescelosaurus shortly after the K–Pg mass extinction. It survived by burrowing, but would soon die of starvation.

Mammals in particular diversified in the Paleogene, evolving new forms such as horses, whales, bats, and primates.

The original synapsid skull structure contains one temporal opening behind the orbitals, in a fairly low position on the skull (lower right in this image). This opening might have assisted in containing the jaw muscles of these organisms which could have increased their biting strength.

Mammal

Mammals (from Latin mamma, 'breast') are a group of vertebrates constituting the class Mammalia, characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a neocortex (a region of the brain), fur or hair, and three middle ear bones.

Mammals (from Latin mamma, 'breast') are a group of vertebrates constituting the class Mammalia, characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a neocortex (a region of the brain), fur or hair, and three middle ear bones.

The original synapsid skull structure contains one temporal opening behind the orbitals, in a fairly low position on the skull (lower right in this image). This opening might have assisted in containing the jaw muscles of these organisms which could have increased their biting strength.
Restoration of Juramaia sinensis, the oldest known Eutherian (160 M.Y.A.)
Fossil of Thrinaxodon at the National Museum of Natural History
Raccoon lungs being inflated manually
Mammal skin: 1 — hair, 2 — epidermis, 3 — sebaceous gland, 4 — Arrector pili muscle, 5 — dermis, 6 — hair follicle, 7 — sweat gland, 8 (not labeled, the bottom layer) — hypodermis, showing round adipocytes
Bovine kidney
A diagram of ultrasonic signals emitted by a bat, and the echo from a nearby object
Porcupines use their spines for defense.
A leopard's disruptively colored coat provides camouflage for this ambush predator.
Goat kids stay with their mother until they are weaned.
Matschie's tree-kangaroo with young in pouch
Running gait. Photographs by Eadweard Muybridge, 1887.
Gibbons are very good brachiators because their elongated limbs enable them to easily swing and grasp on to branches.
Vervet monkeys use at least four distinct alarm calls for different predators.
A bonobo fishing for termites with a stick
Female elephants live in stable groups, along with their offspring.
Red kangaroos "boxing" for dominance
Upper Paleolithic cave painting of a variety of large mammals, Lascaux, c. 17,300 years old
Cattle have been kept for milk for thousands of years.
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Biodiversity of large mammal species per continent before and after humans arrived there
Sexual dimorphism in aurochs, the extinct wild ancestor of cattle.

The modern mammalian orders arose in the Paleogene and Neogene periods of the Cenozoic era, after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, and have been the dominant terrestrial animal group from 66 million years ago to the present.

Climate change during the last 65 million years as expressed by the oxygen isotope composition of benthic foraminifera. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is characterized by a brief but prominent negative excursion, attributed to rapid warming. Note that the excursion is understated in this graph due to the smoothing of data.

Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum

Time period with a more than 5–8 °C global average temperature rise across the event.

Time period with a more than 5–8 °C global average temperature rise across the event.

Climate change during the last 65 million years as expressed by the oxygen isotope composition of benthic foraminifera. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is characterized by a brief but prominent negative excursion, attributed to rapid warming. Note that the excursion is understated in this graph due to the smoothing of data.
A stacked record of temperatures and ice volume in the deep ocean through the Mesozoic and Cenozoic periods.
LPTM— Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
OAEs— Oceanic Anoxic Events
MME— Mid-Maastrichtian Event
Azolla floating ferns, fossils of this genus indicate subtropical weather at the North Pole
Satellite photo of Ardnamurchan – with clearly visible circular shape, which is the 'plumbings of an ancient volcano'

The configuration of oceans and continents was somewhat different during the early Paleogene relative to the present day.

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Tertiary

Widely used but obsolete term for the geologic period from 66 million to 2.6 million years ago.

Widely used but obsolete term for the geologic period from 66 million to 2.6 million years ago.

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The time span covered by the Tertiary has no exact equivalent in the current geologic time system, but it is essentially the merged Paleogene and Neogene periods, which are informally called the Early Tertiary and the Late Tertiary, respectively.

Portrait of Wilhelm Philipp Schimper who coined the term "Paleocene"

Paleocene

Geological epoch that lasted from about 66 to 56 million years ago .

Geological epoch that lasted from about 66 to 56 million years ago .

Portrait of Wilhelm Philipp Schimper who coined the term "Paleocene"
K–Pg boundary recorded in a Wyoming rock (the white stripe in the middle)
The sea cliffs of Itzurun beach near the town of Zumaia, Spain, the GSSP for the Selandian and Thanetian
Paleocene coal is extracted at the Cerrejón mine, the world's largest open-pit mine
The Laramide orogeny was caused by the subduction of oceanic crust under the North American plate
The breakup of Gondwana:
A) Early Cretaceous
B) Late Cretaceous
C) Paleocene
D) Present
Restoration of a Patagonian landscape during the Danian
Reconstruction of the late Paleocene Ginkgo cranei
The conifer Glyptostrobus europaeus from the Canadian Paskapoo Formation
Fossil Platanus fruit from the Canadian Paskapoo Formation
Metasequoia occidentalis from the Canadian Scollard Formation
Restoration of the herbivorous late Paleocene pantodont Barylambda, which could have weighed up to 650 kg
The mesonychid Sinonyx at the Museo delle Scienze
Gastornis restoration
Borealosuchus at the Field Museum of Natural History
The early Paleocene trumpetfish Eekaulostomus from Palenque, Mexico
Otodus obliquus shark tooth from Oued Zem, Morocco
Earwig from the late Paleocene Danish Fur Formation
The ant Napakimyrma paskapooensis from the Canadian Paskapoo Formation
A rudist, the dominant reef-building organism of the Cretaceous

It is the first epoch of the Paleogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era.

Eocene

Geological epoch that lasted from about 56 to 33.9 million years ago .

Geological epoch that lasted from about 56 to 33.9 million years ago .

Cast of Uintatherium anceps skull, French National Museum of Natural History, Paris
Primobucco, an early relative of the roller
Moeritherium
Hyracotherium
Brontotherium
Basilosaurus
Andrewsarchus
Borealosuchus
Gastornis
Pakicetus
Hyracodon
Eocene turtle fossil
Leptictidium
Peratherium
Hesperocyon
Tritemnodon
Coryphodon
Pseudocrypturus

It is the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era.

Neotethys during the Oligocene (Rupelian, 33.9–28.4 mya)

Oligocene

Neotethys during the Oligocene (Rupelian, 33.9–28.4 mya)
Climate change during the last 65 million years
Poebrotherium
Merycoidodon
Hoplophoneus
Mesohippus
Paraceratherium
Paleoparadoxia
Protoceras
Archaeotherium
Janjucetus

The Oligocene is a geologic epoch of the Paleogene Period and extends from about 33.9 million to 23 million years before the present (33.9 to 23.03 Ma).