Neogene ( /ˈniːəˌdʒiːn/) (informally Upper Tertiary or
Late Tertiary) is a geologic period and system that spans 20.45
million years from the end of the
Paleogene Period 23.03 million years
ago (Mya) to the beginning of the present
Quaternary Period 2.58 Mya.
Neogene is sub-divided into two epochs, the earlier
the later Pliocene. Some geologists assert that the
Neogene cannot be
clearly delineated from the modern geological period, the Quaternary.
During this period, mammals and birds continued to evolve into roughly
modern forms, while other groups of life remained relatively
unchanged. Early hominids, the ancestors of humans, appeared in Africa
near the end of the period. Some continental movement took place, the
most significant event being the connection of North and South America
at the Isthmus of Panama, late in the Pliocene. This cut off the warm
ocean currents from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, leaving only
Gulf Stream to transfer heat to the Arctic Ocean. The global
climate cooled considerably over the course of the Neogene,
culminating in a series of continental glaciations in the Quaternary
Period that follows.
4 Flora and fauna
7 External links
In ICS terminology, from upper (later, more recent) to lower
Pliocene Epoch is subdivided into 2 ages:
Piacenzian Age, preceded by
Miocene Epoch is subdivided into 6 ages:
Messinian Age, preceded by
In different geophysical regions of the world, other regional names
are also used for the same or overlapping ages and other timeline
Neogene System (formal) and upper Tertiary System (informal)
describe the rocks deposited during the
The continents in the
Neogene were very close to their current
Isthmus of Panama
Isthmus of Panama formed, connecting North and South
Indian subcontinent continued to collide with Asia,
forming the Himalayas. Sea levels fell, creating land bridges between
Eurasia and between
Eurasia and North America.
The global climate became seasonal and continued an overall drying and
cooling trend which began at the start of the Paleogene. The ice caps
on both poles began to grow and thicken, and by the end of the period
the first of a series of glaciations of the current Ice Age began.
Flora and fauna
Miocene (Early Neogene) fauna
Marine and continental flora and fauna have a modern appearance. The
Choristodera became extinct in the early part of the
period, while the amphibians known as Allocaudata disappeared at the
end. Mammals and birds continued to be the dominant terrestrial
vertebrates, and took many forms as they adapted to various habitats.
The first hominins, the ancestors of humans, appeared in southern
Europe and migrated into Africa.
In response to the cooler, seasonal climate, tropical plant species
gave way to deciduous ones and grasslands replaced many forests.
Grasses therefore greatly diversified, and herbivorous mammals evolved
alongside it, creating the many grazing animals of today such as
horses, antelope, and bison.
Neogene traditionally ended at the end of the
Pliocene Epoch, just
before the older definition of the beginning of the
many time scales show this division.
However, there was a movement amongst geologists (particularly marine
geologists) to also include ongoing geological time (Quaternary) in
the Neogene, while others (particularly terrestrial geologists) insist
Quaternary to be a separate period of distinctly different record.
The somewhat confusing terminology and disagreement amongst geologists
on where to draw what hierarchical boundaries is due to the
comparatively fine divisibility of time units as time approaches the
present, and due to geological preservation that causes the youngest
sedimentary geological record to be preserved over a much larger area
and to reflect many more environments than the older geological
record. By dividing the
Cenozoic Era into three (arguably two)
periods (Paleogene, Neogene, Quaternary) instead of seven epochs, the
periods are more closely comparable to the duration of periods in the
International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) once proposed that
Quaternary be considered a sub-era (sub-erathem) of the Neogene,
with a beginning date of 2.58 Ma, namely the start of the Gelasian
Stage. In the 2004 proposal of the ICS, the
Neogene would have
consisted of the
Pliocene epochs. The International
Quaternary Research (INQUA) counterproposed that the Neogene
Pliocene end at 2.58 Ma, that the
Gelasian be transferred to
the Pleistocene, and the
Quaternary be recognized as the third period
in the Cenozoic, citing key changes in Earth's climate, oceans, and
biota that occurred 2.58 Ma and its correspondence to the
Gauss-Matuyama magnetostratigraphic boundary. In 2006 ICS and
INQUA reached a compromise that made
Quaternary a subera, subdividing
Cenozoic into the old classical Tertiary and Quaternary, a compromise
that was rejected by International Union of Geological Sciences
because it split both
Pliocene in two.
Following formal discussions at the International Geological Congress,
Oslo Norway, August 2008, the ICS decided in May 2009 to make the
Quaternary the youngest period of the
Cenozoic Era with its base at
2.58 Mya and including the
Gelasian age, which was formerly considered
part of the
Neogene Period and
Pliocene Epoch. Thus the Neogene
Period ends bounding the succeeding
Quaternary Period at 2.58 Mya.
Phanerozoic Carbon Dioxide.png
^ Image:All palaeotemps.png
^ Krijgsman, W.; Garcés, M.; Langereis, C. G.; Daams, R.; Van Dam,
J.; Van Der Meulen, A. J.; Agustí, J.; Cabrera, L. (1996). "A new
chronology for the middle to late
Miocene continental record in
Spain". Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 142 (3-4): 367–380.
Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House.
^ "Scientists find 7.2-million-year-old pre-human remains in the
Balkans". Phys.org. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
^ "9.7 million-year-old teeth found in Germany resemble those of human
ancestors in Africa". ResearchGate. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
Tucker, M. E. (2001) Sedimentary Petrology (3rd ed.) Blackwell
Science, Osney Nead, Oxford, UK, ISBN 0-632-05735-1
^ Lourens, L., Hilgen, F., Shackleton, N.J., Laskar, J., Wilson, D.,
Neogene Period”. In: Gradstein, F., Ogg, J., Smith,
A.G. (Eds.), Geologic Time Scale Cambridge University Press,
^ Clague, John et al. (2006) "Open Letter by INQUA Executive
Committee" Archived 2006-09-23 at the Wayback Machine. Quaternary
Perspective, the INQUA Newsletter International Union for Quaternary
^ "ICS: Consolidated Annual Report for 2006" (PDF). Stratigraphy.org.
Retrieved 15 June 2007.
^ "Geoparks and Geotourism - Field Excursion of South America".
33igc.org. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
^ "See the 2009 version of the ICS geologic time scale".
Quaternary.stratigraphy.org.uk. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neogene.
Wikisource has original works on the topic: Cenozoic#Neogene
Digital Atlas of
Neogene Life for the Southeastern United States —
by San Jose State University via Web Archive.
Geologic history of Earth
Quaternary (present–2.588 Mya)
Holocene (present–11.784 kya)
Pleistocene (11.784 kya–2.588 Mya)
Neogene (2.588–23.03 Mya)
Pliocene (2.588–5.333 Mya)
Miocene (5.333–23.03 Mya)
Paleogene (23.03–66.0 Mya)
Oligocene (23.03–33.9 Mya)
Eocene (33.9–56.0 Mya)
Paleocene (56.0–66.0 Mya)
Cretaceous (66.0–145.0 Mya)
Late (66.0–100.5 Mya)
Early (100.5–145.0 Mya)
Jurassic (145.0–201.3 Mya)
Late (145.0–163.5 Mya)
Middle (163.5–174.1 Mya)
Early (174.1–201.3 Mya)
Triassic (201.3–251.902 Mya)
Late (201.3–237 Mya)
Middle (237–247.2 Mya)
Early (247.2–251.902 Mya)
Permian (251.902–298.9 Mya)
Lopingian (251.902–259.8 Mya)
Guadalupian (259.8–272.3 Mya)
Cisuralian (272.3–298.9 Mya)
Carboniferous (298.9–358.9 Mya)
Pennsylvanian (298.9–323.2 Mya)
Mississippian (323.2–358.9 Mya)
Devonian (358.9–419.2 Mya)
Late (358.9–382.7 Mya)
Middle (382.7–393.3 Mya)
Early (393.3–419.2 Mya)
Silurian (419.2–443.8 Mya)
Pridoli (419.2–423.0 Mya)
Ludlow (423.0–427.4 Mya)
Wenlock (427.4–433.4 Mya)
Llandovery (433.4–443.8 Mya)
Ordovician (443.8–485.4 Mya)
Late (443.8–458.4 Mya)
Middle (458.4–470.0 Mya)
Early (470.0–485.4 Mya)
Cambrian (485.4–541.0 Mya)
Furongian (485.4–497 Mya)
Series 3 (497–509 Mya)
Series 2 (509–521 Mya)
Terreneuvian (521–541.0 Mya)
(541.0 Mya–2.5 Gya)
Neoproterozoic era (541.0 Mya–1 Gya)
Ediacaran (541.0-~635 Mya)
Cryogenian (~635-~720 Mya)
Tonian (~720 Mya-1 Gya)
Mesoproterozoic era (1–1.6 Gya)
Stenian (1-1.2 Gya)
Ectasian (1.2-1.4 Gya)
Calymmian (1.4-1.6 Gya)
Paleoproterozoic era (1.6–2.5 Gya)
Statherian (1.6-1.8 Gya)
Orosirian (1.8-2.05 Gya)
Rhyacian (2.05-2.3 Gya)
Siderian (2.3-2.5 Gya)
Archean eon² (2.5–4 Gya)
Neoarchean (2.5–2.8 Gya)
Mesoarchean (2.8–3.2 Gya)
Paleoarchean (3.2–3.6 Gya)
Eoarchean (3.6–4 Gya)
Hadean eon² (4–4.6 Gya)
kya = thousands years ago. Mya = millions years ago.
Gya = billions
years ago.¹ =
Phanerozoic eon. ² =
Source: (2017/02). International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved
13 July 2015. Divisions of Geologic Time—Major Chronostratigraphic
and Geochronologic Units USGS Retrieved 10 March 2013.