Geologic Time Scale: Miocene Epoch
(23.03 to 5.333 million years ago)
The Miocene Epoch was named by Scottish geologist Charles Lyell; the name comes from the Greek words meaning “less” and “new” and translating to mean “less recent” because it has 18% fewer modern marine invertebrates than the Pliocene has. The Miocene is preceded by the Oligocene and is followed by the Pliocene.
During the Early Miocene the Arabian Peninsula collided with Eurasia, severing the connection between the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, and allowing a faunal interchange to occur between Eurasia and Africa, including athe dispersal of proboscideans into Eurasia. Apes first arose and diversified in the Early Miocene, by the end of the Miocene the ancestor of humans had split away from the ancestors of the chimpanzees.