Pleistocene (0.01-2.59 Ma)

Recent Ice Ages; Death of Mega-fauna

What happened during this time?
  • Geologic
    • The severe climatic changes during the ice age had major impacts on the fauna and flora. 
      • With each advance of the ice, large areas of the continents became totally depopulated, and plants and animals retreating southward in front of the advancing glacier faced tremendous stress. 
      • There has not been and ice-free period in the Arctic Ocean for 2,6 million years (although that may be quickly changing)
  • Biologic
    • The most severe stress resulted from drastic climatic changes, reduced living space, and curtailed food supply
      • Extinction event of mega-fauna took place between 11.4-13.8 Ka (Faith 2013)
        • Quick disappearance seems to indicate a sudden catatrophic event such as human over-hunting or cosmic impact
    • Origin of the genus Homo around 2.3 - 2.4 Ma