The Cenozoic Era

Epoch

Began Major Events/Conditions Primate Evolution

Holocene

10,000 ya Glaciers have retreated, sea levels rise Homo sapiens is worldwide.

Pleistocene

1.8 mya "Ice Ages" occur, extreme fluctuations in climate, many large mammals go extinct before 10,000 BP.
Homo sapiens evolves and survives, other hominids,
Homo neanderthalensis,
Homo heidelbergensis,
Homo floresiensis,
Homo erectus
go extinct.

Pliocene

5 mya Modern mammals are represented, climate stable, resembles modern times. Adaptive radiation of the hominids.
Paranthropus
Australopithecus africanus
Australopithecus afarensis
Kenyapithecus
Sahelanthropus

Miocene

24 mya Cooler and drier than earlier epochs, grasslands evolve and spread. Mammalian radiation continues, esp. browsers and grazers. Earliest known hominoids
Dryopithecus - the "Dental Apes"
Proconsul - Miocene Ape
Pliopithecus - Miocene Ape

Oligocene

34 mya Cooling and drying trend occurs world wide. Triggers formation of grasslands by the Miocene.  Mammals radiate into diverse forms. Monkey-Ape-Prosimian transitional forms
Aegyptopithecus


Eocene

55 mya World wide climate is warm and tropical in a broad band, cooler toward poles. Major mammal forms are represented, including primates.
Early Primates - Prosimian like
Adapis - an adapid (lemur root?)
Rooneyia - an omomyid (tarsier root?)
Darwinius - an early adapiform

Paleocene

65 mya World wide climate is warm and tropical in a broad band, cooler toward poles. Root proto-primates present.
Earliest Proto Primates develop. Prosimian-like.
Plesiadapis