Geologic Time Scale: Paleocene Epoch

(66 to 56 million years ago)

The Paleocene Epoch is the first epoch of the Paleogene Period and the modern Cenozic Era. The name is a combination of the Ancient Greek meaning “old” and the Eocene Epoch (which succeeds the Paleocene), translating to “the oldest part of the Eocene”. The word “Paleocene” was first used by French paleobotanist and gelogist Wilhelm Philipp Schimper in 1874 while describingdeposits near Paris.

The warm, wet climate supported tropical and subtropical forests worldwide, mainly populated by conifers and broad-leafed trees. In the K-Pg extinction event (that killed all the non-avian dinosaurs), every land animal over 25 kilograms (55 pounds) was wiped out, leaving open several niches at the beginning of the epoch.

Thanetian Age/Stage

59.2 to 56.0 million years ago

The Thanetian was named aftern the Thanet Formation, the oldest Cenozoic deposit of the London Basin. The London Basin was first described in Kent (southern England) in the Isla of Thanet. The Thanetian was first established in 1873 by Swiss geologist Eugene Renevier.  is often reffed to as the Late Paleocene.

North American Thanetian Stage 59.2 to 56.0 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Champsosaurus  crocodile lizard
Classification: Order: Choristodera, Family: Champsosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Turonian) to Paleocene (Thanetian)
Locality: Canada and USA
Size: 1.5 to 3.5 meters long
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Diatryma now Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Named by: Edward Drinker Cope 1874 (Diatryma). Hébert‭ ‬-‭ ‬1855 (Gastornis).
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes- Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?
Genus: Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes – Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: Belgium.‭ ‬China.‭ ‬England.‭ ‬France.‭ ‬Germany.‭ ‬USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?

European Thanetian Stage 59.2 to 56.0 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes – Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: Belgium.‭ ‬China.‭ ‬England.‭ ‬France.‭ ‬Germany.‭ ‬USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?

Asian Thanetian Stage 59.2 to 56.0 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes – Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: Belgium.‭ ‬China.‭ ‬England.‭ ‬France.‭ ‬Germany.‭ ‬USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?

Selandian Age/Stage

61.6 to 59.2 million years ago

The Selandian was named after the Danish island of Zealand by Danish geologist Alfred Rosenkrantz in 1924. The Selandian is also known as the Middle Paleocene.

North American Selandian Stage 61.6 to 59.2 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Champsosaurus  crocodile lizard
Classification: Order: Choristodera, Family: Champsosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Turonian) to Paleocene (Thanetian)
Locality: Canada and USA
Size: 1.5 to 3.5 meters long
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Diatryma now Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Named by: Edward Drinker Cope 1874 (Diatryma). Hébert‭ ‬-‭ ‬1855 (Gastornis).
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes- Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?
Genus: Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes – Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: Belgium.‭ ‬China.‭ ‬England.‭ ‬France.‭ ‬Germany.‭ ‬USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?

European Selandian Stage 61.6 to 59.2 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes – Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: Belgium.‭ ‬China.‭ ‬England.‭ ‬France.‭ ‬Germany.‭ ‬USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?

Asian Selandian Stage 61.6 to 59.2 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Gastornis “Gaston’s bird”.
Classification: Order: Gastornithiformes – Family: Gastornithidae.
Time: Paleocene (Selandian) to Eocene (Lutetian)
Locality: Belgium.‭ ‬China.‭ ‬England.‭ ‬France.‭ ‬Germany.‭ ‬USA.
Size: 2 meters tall.
Diet: Herbivore?

Danian Age/Stage

66.0 to 61.6 million years ago

The Danian was named after the Latin name for Denmark by German-Swiss geologist Pierre Jean Edouard Desor in 1847. The Danian is also known as the Early or Lower Middle Paleocene.

North American Danian Stage 66.0 to 61.6 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore
Genus: Champsosaurus  crocodile lizard
Classification: Order: Choristodera, Family: Champsosauridae
Time: Cretaceous (Turonian) to Paleocene (Thanetian)
Locality: Canada and USA
Size: 1.5 to 3.5 meters long
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore

Global Marine Deposits Danian Stage 66.0 to 61.6 million years ago

Genus: Scapanorhynchus Spade snout“‬.
Classification: Order: Lamniformes -‭ ‬Family: Mitsukurinidae.
Locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Cretaceous (Aptian to Maastrichtian ) to Paleogene.
Size: Up to‭ ‬3‭ ‬meters long.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore

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