This epoch is part of theTertiary period and the
As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define the start and end are well identified, but the exact dates of the start and end of the epoch are slightly uncertain. The Pliocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. The name means roughly "continuation of recent", and refers to the essentially modern mammalian faunas.
The Pliocene boundaries are not set at an easily identified worldwide event but rather at regional boundaries between the warmer Miocene and the relatively cooler Pliocene. The upper boundary was intended to be set at the start of the Pleistocene glaciations but is now considered to be set too late.
The Pliocene faunal stages from youngest to oldest are:
Both marine and continental faunas were essentially modern, although continental faunas were recognizably a bit more primitive than today. The first recognizable primitive humanoid ancestors appeared in the late Pliocene.