Neogene Period is the second geologic period of the Cenozoic
Era and extends from 23 to 2.6 million years ago. The
Neogene Period is subdivided into the Miocene and Pliocene Epochs.
Neogene is derived from the Greek terms meaning new neo and
gene (Borror, 1988, pp. 42 & 62). There was a general
cooling trend during this period. Grasslands expanded in this cool,
drier climate. The grasslands had a significant impact on mammal
evolution. Herbivores adapted to grazing on grasslands formed
large herds. Many of the predators followed the new grazing species
out into the grasslands. Some of the new grazers and their predators
adapted to the new open environment by evolving great speed. Kelp
forests evolved in some of the areas where oceans were cooling.
Swimming mammals adapted to living in these new environments appeared
as otters and dugongs. The largest known shark, Carcharodon
flourished during this time. You can explore the epochs
the Neogene period by using the drop down menu above or clicking
on the images or links below.