The Messinian Salinity Crisis

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The Miocene

  • A period of time that existed from 23 to 5.3 MYA.

  • The climate of the Miocene was warmer than the Oligocene before it, or the Pliocene after it. The warmer temperatures allowed for two important ecosystems to emerge: Grasslands and Kelp forests.

  • After the warming period, the earth began to cool. 

    • The cooling period caused Tropical forests to disappear and Coiferous forests in the North to expand.

  • Deserts and Tundras began to expand, while Forests began to disappear.

  • Antartica became isolated. 

    • Global Ocean Circulation patterns to change and the circum-polar ocean circulation was established.

    • Ocean circulation allowed for Antarctica to increase in size.

  • Many of the fossil species of this time have close relatives alive today.

  • Mammals and birds developed to look like they do today.

  • 95% of plant species today existed during the Miocene.

    • Most plants reproduced using spores and pollen.

  • In North America the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains formed.