- Paleocene Epoch
or Palaeocene EpochEarliest division of the Tertiary Period, from 65 to 54.8 million years ago. It precedes the Eocene Epoch and follows the Cretaceous Period. The Paleocene was characterized by a generally warming climate, with little or no frost; seasonal variation probably consisted of alternating dry and wet seasons. By the Paleocene the dinosaurs and other reptilian groups that were dominant during the Cretaceous had disappeared, and the epoch saw the rapid proliferation and evolution of mammals.
* * *▪ geologyalso spelled Palaeocene Epochfirst major worldwide division of rocks and time of the Paleogene Period, spanning the interval between 65.5 million and 55.8 million years ago. The Paleocene Epoch was preceded by the Cretaceous Period and was followed by the Eocene Epoch. The Paleocene is subdivided into three ages and their corresponding rock stages: the Danian (Danian Stage), Selandian (Selandian Stage), and Thanetian (Thanetian Stage).Marine rocks of Paleocene age are relatively limited in occurrence, and as a consequence much of the information about this epoch comes from terrestrial deposits. The most complete picture of Paleocene terrestrial life and environments is afforded by the rock record of North America; elsewhere, Paleocene animals, especially mammals (mammal), are lacking or rare or are only of late Paleocene age. Prominent faunal remains of the late Paleocene Epoch are known from the regions of Cernay, France; Gashato, Mongolia; and the Chico River of Patagonian Argentina.The climate of North America during the Paleocene Epoch was characterized by a general warming trend with little or no frost. Seasonal variations probably can best be described as alternations of dry and wet seasons.One of the most striking features of vertebrate life in the Paleocene Epoch was the complete absence of dinosaurs (dinosaur) and other reptilian (reptile) groups that were dominant during the preceding Cretaceous Period. Another striking feature was the rapid proliferation and evolution of mammals (mammal). Paleocene mammals included representatives of many groups or orders that still exist today, though the Paleocene forms were mostly archaic (that is, descended from yet earlier forms) or highly specialized. Paleocene mammals included Cretaceous species such as opossum-like marsupials (marsupial) and, especially, the archaic and unusual multituberculates (multituberculate)—herbivorous animals that had teeth very similar in some respects to those of the later, more advanced rodents. The condylarths (Condylarthra)—hoofed animals that were very important members of the Paleocene animal kingdom—included forms that were evolving toward herbivorousness while still retaining insectivorous-carnivorous traits of their Cretaceous ancestors. Primates (primate) became more abundant in the middle Paleocene; they displayed characteristics intermediate between the insectivores and the lemurs (lemur), especially in their dental anatomy.Late in the Paleocene, mammalian evolution showed a trend toward larger forms and more varied assemblages. Primitive mammalian carnivores—notably the creodonts (Creodonta) (a group of catlike and doglike animals)—appeared, as did large herbivores, ancestral rodents, and the first known supposed primates. The Gashato fauna from Mongolia contains the remains of the earliest known hare (Eurymylus), and among Paleocene mammal remains from South America are many early representatives of animals that became dominant in subsequent epochs of the Paleogene Period.Life in the early Paleocene oceans took hundreds of thousands to millions of years to recover from the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous Period, but by Late Paleocene times many groups of marine invertebrate animals had diversified considerably, including mollusks and plankton. Highly fossiliferous marine sediments from the Upper Paleocene are well known along the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains of North America.
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Paleocene epoch — noun from 63 million to 58 million years ago; appearance of birds and earliest mammals • Syn: ↑Paleocene • Instance Hypernyms: ↑epoch • Part Holonyms: ↑Tertiary, ↑Tertiary period … Useful english dictionary
Paleocene — [pā′lē ə sēn΄] adj. [ PALEO + CENE] [sometimes p ] designating or of the first geologic epoch of the Paleogene, characterized by lower sea levels, the development of modern mountain ranges, and the development of flowering plants, birds, and… … English World dictionary
Paleocene dinosaurs — describe families or genera of non avian dinosaurs that may have survived the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event 65.5 million years ago. Although almost all evidence indicates that dinosaurs (other than birds) all went extinct at the K T… … Wikipedia
Paleocene — The Paleocene or Palaeocene, early dawn of the recent is a geologic epoch that lasted from 65.5 ± 0.3 Ma to 55.8 ± 0.2 Ma (million years ago). It is the first epoch of the Palaeogene Period in the modern Cenozoic era. As with most other older… … Wikipedia
epoch — /ep euhk/ or, esp. Brit., /ee pok/, n. 1. a particular period of time marked by distinctive features, events, etc.: The treaty ushered in an epoch of peace and good will. 2. the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of anything: The… … Universalium
Paleocene — /pay lee euh seen / or, esp. Brit., /pal ee /, Geol. adj. 1. noting or pertaining to an epoch of the Tertiary Period, from 65 to 55 million years ago, and characterized by a proliferation of mammals. See table under geologic time. n. 2. the… … Universalium
Paleocene — 1. adjective /ˌpeɪ.liː.əʊˈsiːn/ Of or pertaining to a geologic epoch within the Paleogene period from about 65 to 56 million years ago; marked by the rise of the first large mammals in a tropical climate. 2. noun /ˌpeɪ.liː.əʊˈsiːn/ The Paleocene… … Wiktionary
Paleocene — Pa•le•o•cene [[t]ˈpeɪ li əˌsin[/t]] esp. brit. [[t]ˈpæl i [/t]] adj. 1) gel noting or pertaining to an epoch of the Tertiary Period, from 65 million to 55 million years ago, a time of mammalian proliferation 2) gel the Paleocene Epoch or Series • … From formal English to slang
Paleocene — geological epoch preceding the Eocene, 1877, from Fr. paléocène (Schimpter, 1874), coined from PALEO (Cf. paleo ) + Gk. kainos new (see RECENT (Cf. recent)). It is, thus, the old new age … Etymology dictionary
Paleocene — adjective Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1877 of, relating to, or being the earliest epoch of the Tertiary or the corresponding series of rocks see geologic time table • Paleocene noun … New Collegiate Dictionary