Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, or being the epoch of geologic time from 5 to 1.8 million years ago, the most recent epoch of the Tertiary Period. It is characterized by the appearance of distinctly modern animals and by the expansion of grasslands.
  • noun The Pliocene Epoch.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In geology, the most recent of the divisions of the Tertiary proper. See Tertiary. Also spelled Pleiocene.
  • noun It was the final period of Tertiary time, during which the distribution of land and sea was very much as it is now. The uptilted deposits of this age, which are of world-wide distribution, consist of mostly unconsolidated sands, clays, and marls of marine and terrestrial origin, containing invertebrate and plant remains very similar to those of the present. The vertebrate fauna, on the other hand, differs widely, with numerous extinct types of large size, among which Dinotherium, Mastodon, Elephas, Equus, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, and Machærodus were of gigantic proportions. The Pliocene of southern Europe has been divided into the following stages: lower, Messinian or Plaisancian; middle, Astian; upper, Arnusian or Sicilian. In North America, marine deposits of this age are represented by the Floridian series of the Gulf coast and the Merced and San Pedro series of the Pacific coast; and the terrestrial deposits by the Palo Duro and Blanco beds of Texas and Oklahoma.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Geol.) The Pliocene period or deposits.
  • adjective (Geol.) Of, pertaining to, or characterizing, the most recent division of the Tertiary age.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective geology Of a geologic epoch within the Neogene period from about 5.3 to 1.7 million years ago; marked by the appearance of man's first ancestors.
  • proper noun geology The Pliocene epoch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun from 13 million to 2 million years ago; growth of mountains; cooling of climate; more and larger mammals

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Greek pleiōn, more; see pelə- in Indo-European roots + –cene.]

Examples

  • The large horse behind me is a 3 million year old Equus simplicidens from the Pliocene, which is very similar to the modern horse.

    Pandas and Man at Harvard - The Panda's Thumb

  • This work has been going on from the commencement of the period in the world's history known as the Pliocene Age, and it is reckoned that the interval which must have elapsed since then must have amounted to millions of years.

    From Pole to Pole A Book for Young People

  • "The Pliocene is the best analog we have in the past for what could happen in our future," said Christopher Brierley, a Yale postdoctoral associate and an author of the study.

    Zee News : India National

  • "The Pliocene is the best analog we have in the past for what could happen in our future," said Christopher Brierley, a Yale postdoctoral associate and an author of the study.

    Global Warming RSS Newsfeed

  • They indicate that the Pliocene might be the best analog for the world in the not-too-distant future.

    Christian Science Monitor | All Stories

  • "The Pliocene is the best analog we have in the past for what could happen in our future," said Christopher Brierley, a Yale postdoctoral associate and an author of the study.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • The continuation stated that Elliot Smith — with whom Keith was to quarrel a year or so later — had made the most notable contribution to the meeting with his commentary on the "brain cast" that was given him by Smith Woodward, and that "the chief divergence of opinion" in the discussion related to the antiquity of the finds, with Sir Arthur Keith — mentioned by name — regarding them as earlier than Pleistocene and possibly Pliocene, that is to say, the age to which some of the planted fossil animal teeth may have belonged.

    The Piltdown Mystery: An Exchange

  • The Pliocene is a more interesting case but note the dinos I was talking about are back in the Cretaceous, so we’re talking about different climates here.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Economic Climate Change Denialism:

  • I’m also mentioning the Pliocene rather than the Cretaceous or Jurassic or some relatively remote period, because the Pliocene is the period just before the standard Vostok 800 Kyr graphic.

    Pliocene #1: North Greenland « Climate Audit

  • Her Pliocene Exile saga is a great combination of High Fantasy, SF, and Celtic myth.

    MIND MELD: The Forgotten Books of SF/F/H

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