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Pliocene Epoch - Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land
Pliocene Epoch - Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land
Published: 2010/02/02
Channel: FloridaMuseum
細野晴臣 / PLEOCENE(プリオシーヌ) 1989
細野晴臣 / PLEOCENE(プリオシーヌ) 1989
Published: 2012/02/10
Channel: ABCDJLG
Sea Change: What Earth
Sea Change: What Earth's Pliocene Era Looked Like
Published: 2013/10/22
Channel: Maureen Raymo
Climate models questioned by Pliocene ocean temperatures
Climate models questioned by Pliocene ocean temperatures
Published: 2013/04/04
Channel: UCLTV
"PLIOCENE PARK — A History of the Hagerman Fossil Beds" 2016 Documentary
"PLIOCENE PARK — A History of the Hagerman Fossil Beds" 2016 Documentary
Published: 2016/05/13
Channel: Digital Media CSI
Pliocene Epoch
Pliocene Epoch
Published: 2014/11/26
Channel: Mikaela Gaskill
"Our Pliocene Ancestors"
"Our Pliocene Ancestors"
Published: 2015/09/15
Channel: case
03. Pliocene
03. Pliocene
Published: 2012/11/14
Channel: Louis Cyphre
Pliocene
Pliocene
Published: 2015/10/19
Channel: Audiopedia
A world with this much CO²: lessons from 4 million years ago (13 Feb 2014)
A world with this much CO²: lessons from 4 million years ago (13 Feb 2014)
Published: 2014/03/04
Channel: UCL Lunch Hour Lectures
Collecting the SC Pliocene during Spring 2012
Collecting the SC Pliocene during Spring 2012
Published: 2012/07/19
Channel: blackriverfossils
Pliocene documentary
Pliocene documentary
Published: 2014/02/25
Channel: LindsayMontalvo
Sea Monsters : Pliocene
Sea Monsters : Pliocene
Published: 2011/09/18
Channel: Sam Hartshorn
Pliocene Geology - Boise, Idaho
Pliocene Geology - Boise, Idaho
Published: 2010/01/14
Channel: ffeijdrug
Extinct Mustelids and Other Pliocene Animals at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
Extinct Mustelids and Other Pliocene Animals at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
Published: 2015/05/26
Channel: Dinologue
Top 10 Little Known Scary Prehistoric Monsters
Top 10 Little Known Scary Prehistoric Monsters
Published: 2014/03/18
Channel: dzvero007
X MAMMALS: PLIOCENE
X MAMMALS: PLIOCENE
Published: 2014/11/23
Channel: Walter Jahn
Back to the Pliocene with Dr. Julie Brigham Grette
Back to the Pliocene with Dr. Julie Brigham Grette
Published: 2014/11/08
Channel: greenmanbucket
Pliocene Meaning
Pliocene Meaning
Published: 2015/04/20
Channel: SDictionary
Pliocene Epoch by Luke and Wes
Pliocene Epoch by Luke and Wes
Published: 2017/02/21
Channel: Luke Sidles
Megalodon - The Pliocene.wmv
Megalodon - The Pliocene.wmv
Published: 2010/09/23
Channel: Zulturus
2nd workshop on Pliocene climate, Bristol, September 2013
2nd workshop on Pliocene climate, Bristol, September 2013
Published: 2014/02/11
Channel: Cabot Institute
Pliocene timeline speech
Pliocene timeline speech
Published: 2013/04/16
Channel: Cody Wernimont
PLIOCENE PARK (DORKOVO, BULGARIA)
PLIOCENE PARK (DORKOVO, BULGARIA)
Published: 2014/04/17
Channel: Bojidar Velinov
a big fossil shell beeing extracted from pliocene sands of belgium
a big fossil shell beeing extracted from pliocene sands of belgium
Published: 2010/05/31
Channel: megaselachus
THE PLIOCENE EPOCH - Addie and Grace
THE PLIOCENE EPOCH - Addie and Grace
Published: 2017/02/21
Channel: Grace Birkland
GLI SQUALI FOSSILI DEL PLIOCENE
GLI SQUALI FOSSILI DEL PLIOCENE
Published: 2013/12/03
Channel: hunterwhales
Nearly Flawless Shark Teeth from the Pliocene of South Carolina Winter 2013
Nearly Flawless Shark Teeth from the Pliocene of South Carolina Winter 2013
Published: 2013/05/06
Channel: blackriverfossils
Pliocene Epoch
Pliocene Epoch
Published: 2013/04/11
Channel: Cody Wernimont
Pliocene Morning 1
Pliocene Morning 1
Published: 2012/02/01
Channel: Tim Fatchen
παλαιοντολογία  ANDATA E RITORNO NEL PLIOCENE TOSCANO - GLI SQUALI FOSSILI
παλαιοντολογία ANDATA E RITORNO NEL PLIOCENE TOSCANO - GLI SQUALI FOSSILI
Published: 2012/06/17
Channel: hunterwhales
Pliocene Epoch- Science Project
Pliocene Epoch- Science Project
Published: 2010/03/26
Channel: brendannovak
Pliocene.wmv
Pliocene.wmv
Published: 2012/05/01
Channel: kingmo2191
Il pliocene e i suoi abitanti
Il pliocene e i suoi abitanti
Published: 2009/10/31
Channel: simone sfasci
Pliocene Times
Pliocene Times
Published: 2017/03/22
Channel: Cubby Nebu
CO2 since Pliocene QuickTime H 264
CO2 since Pliocene QuickTime H 264
Published: 2013/01/16
Channel: Daniel Grossman
01   A Relic of the Pliocene  The Faith of Men  Jack London
01 A Relic of the Pliocene The Faith of Men Jack London
Published: 2016/05/31
Channel: hats0fyou
What does Pliocene mean?
What does Pliocene mean?
Published: 2015/06/01
Channel: What Does That Mean?
Pliocene Project
Pliocene Project
Published: 2017/02/21
Channel: Gabriel Taylor
Smerillo, La Fessa: Fossil Pliocene Shells over 3 million years old (manortiz)
Smerillo, La Fessa: Fossil Pliocene Shells over 3 million years old (manortiz)
Published: 2017/02/18
Channel: Luigi Manfredi
Carbonate Platform Slopes  A Record of Changing Conditions The Pliocene of the Bahamas Lecture Notes
Carbonate Platform Slopes A Record of Changing Conditions The Pliocene of the Bahamas Lecture Notes
Published: 2016/11/21
Channel: Mărioara
Post Pliocene, The Death of Man
Post Pliocene, The Death of Man
Published: 2017/05/05
Channel: Paul England
What does pliocene mean
What does pliocene mean
Published: 2016/01/14
Channel: botcaster inc. bot
Smerillo (Marche, Italy), la
Smerillo (Marche, Italy), la 'Fessa' Fossil Pliocene Shells over 3 million years old (manortiz)
Published: 2013/06/06
Channel: Luigi Manfredi
Primeval: Series 3 - Episode 10 - Danny Gets Trapped in the Pliocene Site 333 (2009)
Primeval: Series 3 - Episode 10 - Danny Gets Trapped in the Pliocene Site 333 (2009)
Published: 2017/06/23
Channel: The Primeval Site
Thylacinus (Marsupialia: Thylacinidae) from the Mio-Pliocene boundary and the diversity of Late...
Thylacinus (Marsupialia: Thylacinidae) from the Mio-Pliocene boundary and the diversity of Late...
Published: 2015/05/13
Channel: KeSimpulan
The Adversary Saga of Pliocene Exile, No 4
The Adversary Saga of Pliocene Exile, No 4
Published: 2017/06/03
Channel: T Combs
travel with me pliocene
travel with me pliocene
Published: 2007/12/04
Channel: mcavady
Bouchenak-Khelladi: Parallel radiations in Danthonioideae at the Miocene/Pliocene transition
Bouchenak-Khelladi: Parallel radiations in Danthonioideae at the Miocene/Pliocene transition
Published: 2015/07/09
Channel: Evolution2015
Catia Urbinelli legge un brano di Pliocene Anno Zero di Franky Kaone
Catia Urbinelli legge un brano di Pliocene Anno Zero di Franky Kaone
Published: 2014/12/07
Channel: Michele Pinto
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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System/
Period
Series/
Epoch
Stage/
Age
Age (Ma)
Quaternary Pleistocene Gelasian younger
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 3.600–2.58
Zanclean 5.333–3.600
Miocene Messinian 7.246–5.333
Tortonian 11.62–7.246
Serravallian 13.82–11.62
Langhian 15.97–13.82
Burdigalian 20.44–15.97
Aquitanian 23.03–20.44
Paleogene Oligocene Chattian older
Subdivision of the Neogene Period
according to the IUGS, [v2014/02].

The Pliocene ( /ˈpləˌsn/;[1][2] also Pleiocene[3]) Epoch is the epoch in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.333 million to 2.58[4] million years BP. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch. Prior to the 2009 revision of the geologic time scale, which placed the four most recent major glaciations entirely within the Pleistocene, the Pliocene also included the Gelasian stage, which lasted from 2.588 to 1.806 million years ago, and is now included in the Pleistocene.[5]

As with other older geologic periods, the geological strata that define the start and end are well identified but the exact dates of the start and end of the epoch are slightly uncertain. The boundaries defining the Pliocene are not set at an easily identified worldwide event but rather at regional boundaries between the warmer Miocene and the relatively cooler Pliocene. The upper boundary was set at the start of the Pleistocene glaciations.

Etymology[edit]

Charles Lyell (later Sir Charles) gave the Pliocene its name in Principles of Geology (volume 2, 1833).[6] The word pliocene comes from the Greek words πλεῖον (pleion, "more") and καινός (kainos, "new" or "recent")[7] and means roughly "continuation of the recent", referring to the essentially modern marine mollusc fauna.

H.W. Fowler called the term Pliocene (like other geological jargon such as pleistocene and miocene) a "regrettable barbarism" and an indication that even "a good classical scholar" such as Lyell should have requested a philologist's help when coining words.[8]

To summarize the usage of these "regrettable barbarisms" in the labelling of the Cenozoic ("recent life") era (from youngest to oldest):

Epoch Literally First Element Second Element
Pleistocene most-new πλεῖστος pleīstos "most" καινός, kainós (Latinized as cænus) "new"
Pliocene more-new πλεῖον pleion "more" καινός kainos "new"
Miocene less-new μείων meiōn “less” καινός kainos “new”
Oligocene few-new ὀλίγος oligos "few" καινός kainos "new"
Eocene dawn-new ἠώς ēṓs "dawn" καινός kainós "new"
Paleocene old-new παλαιός palaios "old(er)" καινός kainos "new"

with the understanding that these are all new relative to the Mesozoic ("middle life" - the age of dinosaurs) and Paleozoic ("old life") - Trilobites, coal forests, and the earliest Synapsida) eras.

Subdivisions[edit]

In the official timescale of the ICS, the Pliocene is subdivided into two stages. From youngest to oldest they are:

The Piacenzian is sometimes referred to as the Late Pliocene, whereas the Zanclean is referred to as the Early Pliocene.

In the system of

In the Paratethys area (central Europe and parts of western Asia) the Pliocene contains the Dacian (roughly equal to the Zanclean) and Romanian (roughly equal to the Piacenzian and Gelasian together) stages. As usual in stratigraphy, there are many other regional and local subdivisions in use.

In Britain the Pliocene is divided into the following stages (old to young): Gedgravian, Waltonian, Pre-Ludhamian, Ludhamian, Thurnian, Bramertonian or Antian, Pre-Pastonian or Baventian, Pastonian and Beestonian. In the Netherlands the Pliocene is divided into these stages (old to young): Brunssumian C, Reuverian A, Reuverian B, Reuverian C, Praetiglian, Tiglian A, Tiglian B, Tiglian C1-4b, Tiglian C4c, Tiglian C5, Tiglian C6 and Eburonian. The exact correlations between these local stages and the ICS stages is still a matter of detail.[9]

Climate[edit]

Mid-Pliocene reconstructed annual sea surface temperature anomaly

The global average temperature in the mid-Pliocene (3.3–3 mya) was 2–3 °C higher than today,[10] and carbon dioxide levels were the same as today,[11] global sea level 25 m higher[12] and the Northern hemisphere ice sheet was ephemeral before the onset of extensive glaciation over Greenland that occurred in the late Pliocene around 3 Ma.[13] The formation of an Arctic ice cap is signaled by an abrupt shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic and North Pacific ocean beds.[14] Mid-latitude glaciation was probably underway before the end of the epoch. The global cooling that occurred during the Pliocene may have spurred on the disappearance of forests and the spread of grasslands and savannas.[15]

Paleogeography[edit]

Examples of migrant species in the Americas after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama. Olive green silhouettes denote North American species with South American ancestors; blue silhouettes denote South American species of North American origin.

Continents continued to drift, moving from positions possibly as far as 250 km from their present locations to positions only 70 km from their current locations. South America became linked to North America through the Isthmus of Panama during the Pliocene, making possible the Great American Interchange and bringing a nearly complete end to South America's distinctive large marsupial predator and native ungulate faunas. The formation of the Isthmus had major consequences on global temperatures, since warm equatorial ocean currents were cut off and an Atlantic cooling cycle began, with cold Arctic and Antarctic waters dropping temperatures in the now-isolated Atlantic Ocean.

Africa's collision with Europe formed the Mediterranean Sea, cutting off the remnants of the Tethys Ocean. The border between the Miocene and the Pliocene is also the time of the Messinian salinity crisis.

Sea level changes exposed the land-bridge between Alaska and Asia.

Pliocene marine rocks are well exposed in the Mediterranean, India, and China. Elsewhere, they are exposed largely near shores.

Flora[edit]

The change to a cooler, dry, seasonal climate had considerable impacts on Pliocene vegetation, reducing tropical species worldwide. Deciduous forests proliferated, coniferous forests and tundra covered much of the north, and grasslands spread on all continents (except Antarctica). Tropical forests were limited to a tight band around the equator, and in addition to dry savannahs, deserts appeared in Asia and Africa.

Fauna[edit]

Both marine and continental faunas were essentially modern, although continental faunas were a bit more primitive than today. The first recognizable hominins, the australopithecines, appeared in the Pliocene.

The land mass collisions meant great migration and mixing of previously isolated species, such as in the Great American Interchange. Herbivores got bigger, as did specialized predators.

Mammals[edit]

In North America, rodents, large mastodons and gomphotheres, and opossums continued successfully, while hoofed animals (ungulates) declined, with camel, deer and horse all seeing populations recede. Rhinos, three toed horses (Nannippus), oreodonts, protoceratids, and chalicotheres became extinct. Borophagine dogs and Agriotherium became extinct, but other carnivores including the weasel family diversified, and dogs and short-faced bears did well. Ground sloths, huge glyptodonts, and armadillos came north with the formation of the Isthmus of Panama.

In Eurasia rodents did well, while primate distribution declined. Elephants, gomphotheres and stegodonts were successful in Asia, and hyraxes migrated north from Africa. Horse diversity declined, while tapirs and rhinos did fairly well. Cows and antelopes were successful, and some camel species crossed into Asia from North America. Hyenas and early saber-toothed cats appeared, joining other predators including dogs, bears and weasels.

Human evolution during the Pliocene
Pliocene mammals of North America

Africa was dominated by hoofed animals, and primates continued their evolution, with australopithecines (some of the first hominins) appearing in the late Pliocene. Rodents were successful, and elephant populations increased. Cows and antelopes continued diversification and overtaking pigs in numbers of species. Early giraffes appeared, and camels migrated via Asia from North America. Horses and modern rhinos came onto the scene. Bears, dogs and weasels (originally from North America) joined cats, hyenas and civets as the African predators, forcing hyenas to adapt as specialized scavengers.

South America was invaded by North American species for the first time since the Cretaceous, with North American rodents and primates mixing with southern forms. Litopterns and the notoungulates, South American natives, were mostly wiped out, except for the macrauchenids and toxodonts, which managed to survive. Small weasel-like carnivorous mustelids, coatis and short-faced bears migrated from the north. Grazing glyptodonts, browsing giant ground sloths and smaller caviomorph rodents, pampatheres, and armadillos did the opposite, migrating to the north and thriving there.

The marsupials remained the dominant Australian mammals, with herbivore forms including wombats and kangaroos, and the huge Diprotodon. Carnivorous marsupials continued hunting in the Pliocene, including dasyurids, the dog-like thylacine and cat-like Thylacoleo. The first rodents arrived in Australia. The modern platypus, a monotreme, appeared.

Birds[edit]

Titanis

The predatory South American phorusrhacids were rare in this time; among the last was Titanis, a large phorusrhacid that migrated to North America and rivaled mammals as top predator. Other birds probably evolved at this time, some modern, some now extinct.

Reptiles and amphibians[edit]

Alligators and crocodiles died out in Europe as the climate cooled. Venomous snake genera continued to increase as more rodents and birds evolved. Rattlesnakes first appeared in the Pliocene. The modern species Alligator mississippiensis, having evolved in the Miocene, continued into the Pliocene, except with a more northern range; specimens have been found in very late Miocene deposits of Tennessee. Giant tortoises still thrived in North America, with genera like Hesperotestudo. Madtsoid snakes were still present in Australia. The amphibian order Allocaudata became extinct.

Oceans[edit]

Oceans continued to be relatively warm during the Pliocene, though they continued cooling. The Arctic ice cap formed, drying the climate and increasing cool shallow currents in the North Atlantic. Deep cold currents flowed from the Antarctic.

The formation of the Isthmus of Panama about 3.5 million years ago cut off the final remnant of what was once essentially a circum-equatorial current that had existed since the Cretaceous and the early Cenozoic. This may have contributed to further cooling of the oceans worldwide.

The Pliocene seas were alive with sea cows, seals,sea lions and sharks.

Supernovae[edit]

In 2002, Narciso Benítez et al. calculated that roughly 2 million years ago, around the end of the Pliocene epoch, a group of bright O and B stars called the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association passed within 130 light-years of Earth and that one or more supernova explosions gave rise to a feature known as the Local Bubble.[16] Such a close explosion could have damaged the Earth's ozone layer and caused the extinction of some ocean life (at its peak, a supernova of this size could have the same absolute magnitude as an entire galaxy of 200 billion stars).[17][18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pliocene". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 
  2. ^ "Pliocene". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. 
  3. ^ "Pleiocene". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. 
  4. ^ See the 2014 version of the ICS geologic time scale Archived 2014-05-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Ogg, James George; Ogg, Gabi; Gradstein F. M. (2008). The Concise Geologic Time Scale. Cambridge University Press. pp. 150–1. ISBN 9780521898492. 
  6. ^ Compare the usage by William Whewell in 1831 ("Pliocene". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)).
  7. ^ "Pliocene". Online Etymology Dictionary. 
  8. ^ Fowler, H.W. (2009). David Crystal, ed. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition (Reissue ed.). USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-953534-5. 
  9. ^ Kuhlmann, G.; C.G. Langereis; D. Munsterman; R.-J. van Leeuwen; R. Verreussel; J.E. Meulenkamp; Th.E. Wong (2006). "Integrated chronostratigraphy of the Pliocene-Pleistocene interval and its relation to the regional stratigraphical stages in the southern North Sea region". Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. 85: 19–35. doi:10.1017/S0016774600021405. 
  10. ^ Robinson, M.; Dowsett, H.J.; Chandler, M.A. (2008). "Pliocene role in assessing future climate impacts" (PDF). Eos Trans. Amer. Geophys. U. 89: 501–502. Bibcode:2008EOSTr..89..501R. doi:10.1029/2008eo490001. 
  11. ^ "Solutions: Responding to Climate Change". Climate.Nasa.gov. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Dwyer, G.S.; Chandler, M.A. (2009). "Mid-Pliocene sea level and continental ice volume based on coupled benthic Mg/Ca palaeotemperatures and oxygen isotopes". Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A. 367: 157–168. doi:10.1098/rsta.2008.0222. 
  13. ^ Bartoli, G.; et al. (2005). "Final closure of Panama and the onset of northern hemisphere glaciation". Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 237: 3344. 
  14. ^ Van Andel (1994), p. 226.
  15. ^ "The Pliocene epoch". University of California Museum of Paleontology. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  16. ^ Narciso Benítez, Jesús Maíz-Apellániz, and Matilde Canelles et al. (2002). "Evidence for Nearby Supernova Explosions". Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 (8): 081101. Bibcode:2002PhRvL..88h1101B. PMID 11863949. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.88.081101. 
  17. ^ Katie Pennicott (Feb 13, 2002). "Supernova link to ancient extinction". physicsworld.com. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  18. ^ Comins & Kaufmann (2005), p. 359.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Neogene Period
Miocene Pliocene
Aquitanian | Burdigalian
Langhian | Serravallian
Tortonian | Messinian
Zanclean | Piacenzian
Quaternary
Pleistocene Holocene
Early | Middle | Late Preboreal | Boreal |
Atlantic | Subboreal | Subatlantic

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