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November 20, 2016 Weekly Geology Guess, Eocene Epoch

November 20, 2016
Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:

My discussion on Alabama Geology will continue with the Geologic Time Scale or the Geologic Column and the critters that abide within each pigeon holes.

As with most sciences, especially natural sciences, we love to pigeon hole our data.  Most of the pigeon holes have scientific merit and accuracy.  With the Geologic Time Scale we start with the oldest layers and work upward to the youngest layers.

For some of you this will be new, novel, and maybe heretical.

Expedition Earth: Geological time scale
Cenozoic Era
                            (Age of Mammals and the Age of Birds)

“The Cenozoic Era (pronunciation: /ˌsnəˈzɪk, ˌsɛ/;[1][2] also Cænozoic, Caenozoic or Cainozoic pronunciation: /ˌknəˈzɪk, ˌk/;[3][4] meaning “new life”, from Greek καινός kainos “new”, and ζωή zoe “life”[5]) is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras, following the Mesozoic Era and covering the period from 66 million years ago to present day.

The Cenozoic is also known as the Age of Mammals and the Age of Birds, because of the large mammals and birds that dominated, such as Entelodont, Paraceratherium, Gastornis and Basilosaurus. The extinction of many large Diapsid groups such as non-avian dinosaurs, Plesiosauria and Pterosauria allowed the mammals and birds to greatly diversify and be the predominant fauna, even to the present day.

                        Eocene Epoch

(formerly part of the Tertiary Period)

“The Eocene (pronunciation: /ˈəˌsn, ˈ/[2][3]) Epoch, lasting from 56 to 33.9 million years ago,

“The end is set at a major extinction event called the Grande Coupure (the “Great Break” in continuity) or the Eocene–Oligocene extinction event, which may be related to the impact of one or more large bolides in Siberia and in what is now Chesapeake Bay.”

Early Eocene and the equable climate problem”

> See Wikipedia for a troubled Climate.

The write up in Wikipedia includes a lot of interesting details.

Encyclopedia Britannica:


(A good write up is included in Wikipedia)

Alabama Tertiary Period Paleontology and Geology

“The southern part of Alabama has some of the best sections of Tertiary marine fossils found anywhere in the world. Evidence of near-tropical, coastal forests of the Early Tertiary is preserved in layers of lignite (brown coal) that surface in curving bands across the southern counties. Studies of pollen grains preserved in the lignite and in other sediments show that during the middle part of the Tertiary, Alabama’s forests were more like those of today. This change from near-tropical to temperate forests was probably a response to a cooling climate.”

Eocene Images;_ylt=A0LEV7sU_ihYlTcAze4PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=Eocene&fr=yhs-befrugal-002&hspart=befrugal&hsimp=yhs-002

>    As some of you will notice, as we go up the geologic column the more complex and numerous life becomes.

>    As with most of my weekly fores into geology, with each topic I could write many papers and dissertations.

Note:  I have intentionally reduced the amount of linked graphics in this email due to the amount of space required and trying to untangle everything the following week has been a mess.


References include:

–    Wikipedia

–    “Lost Worlds of Alabama”, Second Edition, 2013, by Jim Lacefield


Editors Note:  It is the intent of this site to keep this discussion as simple as possible, so as to educate the interested general public and not to discuss with the geology crowd the latest geologic theories and nuances.  Thanks, R


“No copyright infringement intended.
The rights belong to their respective owners”
Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


Author’s Request:  If you see any pictures that you know the source and photographer, let me know immediately.  Thanks!  R
Images have been searched by

TinEye Reverse Image Search.


Next time we will venture into the Oligocene Period.


Enjoy the adventure!










Gastornis hunting, artwork

Eocene. Gastonis. Big Bird, hunting Lepticitidum.







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