Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Pliocene Climate

Climate during the Pliocene epoch (5.3 - 1.8 mya) continued to become cooler and drier; at the beginning of the Pliocene a massive desiccation event (the Messinian) occurred when the remaining water in the Tethys Sea (Mediterranean) dried up, about 5.3 mya; large ice sheets began to form on the northern continents about 3.2 mya, and intensified about 2.5 mya.

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