the Miocene period earth’s climate, had changed from cold to warm. In the
Miocene epoch kelp forests appeared and became part of the earths most
productive ecosystems. The Miocene epoch began 23.8 million years ago, and
ended 5.3 million years ago (“The Miocene Epoch.” The Miocene Epoch.
N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2018.). Many plants and animals flourished during the
Miocene period as climate and weather was perfect for life. Some animals that
were flourishing during this period were Teuthidas, Cervidae, Elephantidae,
Felidae, Canidae, Accipitridae, Corvidae, Crocodyidae, Boidae, and Salmonidae.
Some plants that were flourishing include Orchidaceae, Poaceae, Pinophyta,
Fagaceae, Pinales, Liliaceae, and Rosaceae (“Miocene Epoch Videos, News
and Facts.” BBC Nature. BBC, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2018.). During the Miocene
epoch, life was mostly supported by Kelp forests and Grasslands. Grasslands
allowed for more grazing mammals such as Horses and Deer. Ninety-five percent
of modern plants existed by the end of the Miocene epoch. The Miocene period
was a time of warmer global climates than the preceding Oligocene. The Miocene
warming began 21 million years ago, and continued until 14 million years ago.
By 8 million years ago, temperatures dropped sharply once again, and the Atlantic
ice sheet was approaching its present-day size. Greenland may have begun to
have large glaciers as early as 7 to 8 million years ago, although the climate
mostly remained warm enough to support forests (“Miocene epoch.” The
Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jan. 2018
allowed open vegetation systems such as tundra, deserts, and grasslands. This
led to the diversitation of temperate ecosystems and many changes in animals
biology. Mammals and birds developed new forms, as fast-running herbivores, predatory
mammals and birds, or small fast birds and rodents (“Miocene.”
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Jan. 2018. Web. 24 Jan. 2018.). Because the
Miocene epoch is closer to present day than most other periods of time so it is
easier to see the effects of events. Many of the fossils that we have found have
close relatives that are alive today. During the Miocene period continents
continued to drift toward their present positions. As South America approached
the western subduction zone it caused both the rising of the Andes mountains
and southward extension in the Mesoamerican peninsula. Mountain building
occurred in western Europe, east Asia, and North America. During the Miocene
epoch India continued to collide with Asia causing mountain ranges to form. The
uplift of mountains in the western Mediterranean region and a fall in sea
levels combined and caused drying up of the Mediterranean Sea known as the “Messinian
salinity crisis”. The global trend was towards increasing aridity caused
primarily by global cooling, reducing the ability of the atmosphere to absorb
moisture. Uplift of East Africa in the late Miocene period was partly
responsible for the shrinking of the tropical rainforests in that region.
Australia got drier when it entered a zone of low rainfall in the late Miocene
period. The Miocene epoch was a very good period for life on earth as weather
and climate were very suitable for life.
Miocene Epoch.” The Miocene Epoch. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2018.
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Jan. 2018. Web. 24 Jan. 2018.
Epoch Videos, News and Facts.” BBC Nature. BBC, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2018.
epoch.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jan.