Tertiary period


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Related to Tertiary period: Quaternary period, Paleogene Period, Cretaceous period, Cenozoic era

Tertiary period

The first period of the Cenozoic era, comprising the epochs from the Paleocene to the Pliocene: 65 to 2 million years ago.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Tertiary period - from 63 million to 2 million years ago
Age of Mammals, Cenozoic, Cenozoic era - approximately the last 63 million years
Pliocene, Pliocene epoch - from 13 million to 2 million years ago; growth of mountains; cooling of climate; more and larger mammals
Miocene, Miocene epoch - from 25 million to 13 million years ago; appearance of grazing mammals
Oligocene, Oligocene epoch - from 40 million to 25 million years ago; appearance of sabertoothed cats
Eocene, Eocene epoch - from 58 million to 40 million years ago; presence of modern mammals
Paleocene, Paleocene epoch - from 63 million to 58 million years ago; appearance of birds and earliest mammals
References in classic literature ?
Likewise, by way of preliminary, I desire to remind the reader, that while in the earlier geological strata there are found the fossils of monsters now almost completely extinct; the subsequent relics discovered in what are called the Tertiary formations seem the connecting, or at any rate intercepted links, between the antichronical creatures, and those whose remote posterity are said to have entered the Ark; all the Fossil Whales hitherto discovered belong to the Tertiary period, which is the last preceding the superficial formations.
The International Committee on Stratigraphy didn't name the Tertiary Period the "Asteroidic," even if an asteroid is suspected of having ended the Cretaceous.
The flames also threatened some of Spain's most treasured national parks, including Garajonay National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site famed for its prehistoric woodland that scientists believe dates back some 11 million years to the Tertiary Period.
Our theory is that handfishes were once fairly widespread but patchily distributed, before being subjected to broad scale extinction events, possibly in the Tertiary period,' Last says.
Studies of other European Tertiary basins further disclosed variations in fossil forms from one basin to another, indicating differences in their precise ages within the Tertiary Period.
Now the 32-year-old Fifer says: "My friend Billy Bragg is into geology and found a term called 'KT Impact' - for the Cretaceous and the Tertiary Period - which marks the start of the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Finally, in June 2005, a geology class from University of Alaska Fairbanks stumbled upon a large footprint in Cantwell formation--a layer of rock nearly 8,000 meters thick that was originally thought to have formed in the Tertiary period, after the mass extinction of dinosaurs.
Although the sampling intensity from time to time and place to place could bias our knowledge on the existant biodiversity during different periods of the Phanerozoic Era, the fossil record of nonmarine tetrapods from the Devonian era (approximately 400 million years ago) onward exhibits an average of about 50 families until the last quarter of the Cretaceous period, when the number of families increased to nearly 80; the rise continued to the present 337 families in several steps in the Tertiary period (2).

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