16th November 2001
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Paleocene Eocene Oligocene Miocene Pilocene Pleistocene Holocene
Continents Map
Map Key
Continents vegetation Mammals Ocean currents
Paleocene Eocene Oligocene Miocene Pliocene Pleistocene Holocene

Continents in the Pliocene

The Pliocene was the fifth epoch in the Cenozoic era. It followed the Miocene and lasted from 5.2 to 1.6 million years ago.

The continents were still shifting, and one particular movement was about to change the whole World. South America was on a collision course with North America.

South America
South America reapproached North America for the first time since the Cretaceous period, almost 100 million years earlier. The Panamanian Isthmus emerged due to fluctuating sea levels.

Africa and Europe
Mediterranean sea formed when Africa continued to crash into Europe cutting off the ancient Tethys Sea, isolating the Mediterranean into its familiar form.

North America
Fluctuating sea levels temporarily exposed the land bridge from Alaska linking North America and Asia.

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