What Animals Lived In The Pliocene Epoch? [SOLVED!]

During the Pliocene epoch, the earth continued its cooling trend from previous epochs, with tropical conditions holding at the equator (as they do today) and more pronounced seasonal changes at higher and lower latitudes; still, average global temperatures were 7 or 8 degrees (Fahrenheit) higher than they are today 🙈 The major geographic developments were the reappearance of the Alaskan land bridge between Eurasia and North America, after millions of years of submersion, and the formation of the Central American Isthmus joining North and South America 👍 Not only did these developments allow an interchange of fauna between three of the earth’s continents, but they’re have having a profound effect on ocean currents, as the relatively cool Atlantic ocean was cut off from the much warmer Pacific 😊 [1]
The epoch was marked by a number of significant tectonic events that created the landscape we know today. One such event was the joining of the tectonic plates of North and South America. This joining was brought about by a shift of the Caribbean Plate, which moved slightly eastwards and formed a land bridge across the Isthmus of Panama. The connection between North and South America had a significant impact on flora and fauna in two respects: (1) On land, the creation of a land bridge enabled species to migrate between the two continents. This led to a migration of armadillo, ground sloth, opposum, and porcupines from South to North America and an invasion of dogs, cats, bears and horses in the opposite direction. (2) The joining of the two tectonic plates also led to changes in the marine environment. An environment with species that had been interacting for billions of years now became separated into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This in turn had a significant impact on the evolution of the species which became isolated from each other. [2]
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The’s having Pliocene seen an almost complete turnover of molluscan species in numerous locations. This is not to say that extinction rates approached 100% on the species level. In many cases, species ranges simply flowed back and forth with shifting climate. This is particularly noticeable in regions with long north-south coastlines, as in North America. As the ice sheets spread, many of the endemic mollusks of the California coast during the Zanclean were replaced in the Gelasian by existing cold-adapted species from Canada and Alaska. Some of the Zanclean Pacific coast species simply relocated to the Gulf of California in the Gelasian, since the Gulf remained semitropical throughout the Pliocene. (modified by Aubra Trejo on October 7, 2021) [3]
Chanel Burris from geologypage.com, describes how 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. (edited by Iona Lim on October 18, 2020) [4]

Article References

  1. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-pliocene-epoch-1091372
  2. https://ucmp.berkeley.edu/tertiary/pliocene.php
  3. http://palaeos.com/cenozoic/pliocene/pliocene.html
  4. https://www.geologypage.com/2014/05/pliocene-epoch.html
Kelly-Anne Kidston

Written by Kelly-Anne Kidston

I am a writer of many words, from fiction to poetry to reviews. I am an avid reader and a lover of good books. I am currently writing my first novel and would love to find some beta readers who are interested in getting an early look.

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