Eocene

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(Eocene fauna: Added some information from palaeos.com)
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During the Eocene plants and marine faunas became quite modern. The first [[Carcharinid shark]]s appeared as did early [[marine mammal]]s. Many modern orders of birds first appear in the Eocene.
During the Eocene plants and marine faunas became quite modern. The first [[Carcharinid shark]]s appeared as did early [[marine mammal]]s. Many modern orders of birds first appear in the Eocene.
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The first aquatic mammals, whales and sea cows appeared in the oceans.  The whales belonged to an extinct lineage called Archeocetes, and quickly grew to huge size (Zeuglodon (more correctly Basilosaurus, a confusing name because this was a mammal not a reptile) attained 20 to 25 meters in length.
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The Eocene saw the appearance of modern birds such as eagles, pelicans, quail, and vultures, as well as the great flightless Diatriyaformes, 2 meters or more in height, with a huge hooked beak that clearly indicated carnivorous habits.  Such giant flightless birds, curiously reminiscent of their ancestors, the great theropod dinosaurs of the bygone Mesozoic, may have been able to develop because carnivorous mammals remained primitive and not very efficient.
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Africa was separated by ocean on all sides, which allowed  the development of a unique fauna in isolation from Europe, Asia and North America.  There evolved not only the ancestors of elephants but also the hyrax, the monkey, and strange extinct forms such as the rhinoceros-like Embrithotheres.
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South America was another isolated island continent.  It became home to a unique zoo of hoofed mammals, edentates, marsupials, and more giant flightless birds (Phorusrachids).
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Australia's fauna at this time is unknown, but would presumably consist of various indigenous marsupials, monotremes, crocodilians and lizards.
==Credits/External links ==
==Credits/External links ==
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocene"
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocene"

Revision as of 01:39, 23 January 2009

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