The Virtual Petrified Wood Museum.  Dedicated to the Exhibition and Educational Study of Permineralized Plant Material
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Paleozoic Drop Down Menu
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Cenozoic Drop Down Menu
Cenozoic Era: 65.5 Million Years to Present
Neogene Period: 23-2.6 Million Years Ago

The 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 birth 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 such as otters and dugongs. The largest known shark, Carcharodon megalodon, flourished during this time. You can explore the epochs of the Neogene period by using the drop down menu above or clicking on the images or links below.



Borror, D.J. (1988). Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. California: Mayfield Publishing Company.

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