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Third era of the Phanerozoic Eon (66 million years ago to present) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Cenozoic (/ˌsnəˈz.ɪk, ˌsɛn-/ SEE-nə-ZOH-ik, SEN-ə-;[1][2] lit.'new life') is Earth's current geological era, representing the last 66 million years of Earth's history. It is characterised by the dominance of mammals, birds and flowering plants. It is the latest of three geological eras, preceded by the Mesozoic and Paleozoic. The Cenozoic started with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, when many species, including the non-avian dinosaurs, became extinct in an event attributed by most experts to the impact of a large asteroid or other celestial body, the Chicxulub impactor.

Quick facts: Cenozoic, Chronology, Etymology, Name formali...
Rock deposits from the Cenozoic Era (Torre Sant'Andrea, Salento, Italy)
      Name formalityFormal
      Nickname(s)Age of Mammals
      Usage information
      Celestial bodyEarth
      Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
      Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
      Chronological unitEra
      Stratigraphic unitErathem
      Time span formalityFormal
      Lower boundary definitionIridium enriched layer associated with a major meteorite impact and subsequent K-Pg extinction event.
      Lower boundary GSSPEl Kef Section, El Kef, Tunisia
      36.1537°N 8.6486°E / 36.1537; 8.6486
      Lower GSSP ratified1991
      Upper boundary definitionN/A
      Upper boundary GSSPN/A
      Upper GSSP ratifiedN/A

      The Cenozoic is also known as the Age of Mammals because the terrestrial animals that dominated both hemispheres were mammals  the eutherians (placentals) in the northern hemisphere and the metatherians (marsupials, now mainly restricted to Australia and to some extent South America) in the southern hemisphere. The extinction of many groups allowed mammals and birds to greatly diversify so that large mammals and birds dominated life on Earth. The continents also moved into their current positions during this era.

      The climate during the early Cenozoic was warmer than today, particularly during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. However, the Eocene to Oligocene transition and the Quaternary glaciation dried and cooled Earth.