Pliocene

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The Pliocene (pronounced /ˈplaɪ.əsiːn/) Epoch (spelled Pleiocene in older texts) is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588[1] million years before present.

The Pliocene is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch.

The Pliocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. The name comes from the Greek words πλεῖον (pleion, "more") and καινός (kainos, "new") and means roughly "continuation of the recent", referring to the essentially modern marine mollusc faunas. H.W. Fowler called the term (along with other examples such as pleistocene and miocene) a "regrettable barbarism" and an indication that even "a good classical scholar" such as Lyell should have requested a philologist's help when properly coining words.[2]

As with other older geologic periods, the geological strata that define the start and end are well identified but the exact dates of the start and end of the epoch are slightly uncertain. The boundaries defining the onset of the Pliocene are not set at an easily identified worldwide event but rather at regional boundaries between the warmer Miocene and the relatively cooler Pliocene. The upper boundary was set at the start of the Pleistocene glaciations.

Contents

Subdivisions

In the official timescale of the ICS, the Pliocene is subdivided into two stages. From youngest to oldest they are:

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