Emergent Pliocene Epoch: 5.3 - 2.6 mya
Features of the Pliocene epoch 5.3 - 2.6 mya
the 2nd, final epoch of the Neogene period (follows the Miocene epoch), that immediately precedes the Pleistocene epoch of the Quaternary period.
2) expansion of plant life (especially grasses), that use the C4 photosynthetic pathway, a shifting process beginning in the Late Miocene (The Concise Geologic Time Scale, 2010, p. 143).
3) human ancestors emerging in the Late Miocene, continue to evolve in Africa during this epoch, the Homo genus appearing just as this epoch ends, and the Pleistocene epoch begins (Biology, 2015, p. 454).
4) large mammals emerge in North and South America, such as saber-toothed cats, camels, giant sloths and armadillos, and masodons; many become extinct by the end of the succeeding Pleistocene epoch(see next page), due to both the occurrences of ice ages (climate change), and human hunters (ibid.).