Pliocene Epoch

Increase in grassland and savannas

The Pliocene Epoch (5.3-2.6 Ma) is in the Neogene Period of the Cenozoic Era. It occurs before the Pleistocene, and after the Miocene Epoch.

Geologic Age

  • 5.333–2.58 million years ago


Eon / Era / Period

What happened during this time?


  • Tropical species reduce worldwide

  • Deciduous forests proliferated

  • Coniferous forests and tundra cover north hemisphere

  • Grasslands spread on all continents (except Antarctica)

  • Tropical forests were restricted to equator

  • Dry savannas and deserts appear


  • The extent of sea ice cover in Arctic was much less than it is today

    • Maximum winter extent did not reaching its current location until around 2.6 Ma