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Paleogene Period


This page describes the Paleogene Period, including stratigraphy, paleogeography, and famous lagerstätten, followed by a sketched outline of some of the major evolutionary events.

Keywords: Paleogene, Paleogene biota, fossil record, evolution



Related Topics

Further Reading
  • Ogg et al. 2008: The Concise Geologic Time Scale. Cambridge.
Related Pages
    Other Web Sites


      Type Section

      Lower (Cretaceous–Paleogene) Boundary

      Upper (Paleogene–Neogene) Boundary


      What happened to the Tertiary?

      A great deal of the older, particularly European, literature subdivides the Cenozoic into the Teriary and Quaternary Periods, the Tertiary Period comprising the Paleocene through Pliocene Epochs. In fact, this scheme has a very long history, dating back to the earliest attempts to subdivide geological time in the mid-1700s. An alternative subdivision into Paleogene and Neogene was introduced by Hornes in 1853, and took root, most strongly in America. Initially, the Neogene extended to the present day, i.e., it incorporated the Quaternary Period also.

      After some indecision, the ICS eventually adopted a three-fold subdivision of the Cenozoic into Paleogene, Neogene and Quaternary periods. The Paleogene Period comprises the Paleocene through Oligocene epochs, the Neogene comprises the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, and the Quaternary encompasses the Pleistocene and Holocene.


      Major Tectonic Events

      Land and Sea



      General Characteristics

      Major Taxa

      Major Evolutionary Events



      New Zealand Occurrences


      Ogg, J.G.; Ogg, G.; Gradstein, F.M. 2008: The Concise Geologic Time Scale. Cambridge: 1-177.

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