The animals that lived during the Eocene Epoch were a result of the extinction of their predators and also the evolution of species to accommodate changes in the environment. For instance, radiation released in the Northern Hemisphere caused not only more mammals to emerge but also for them to increase in size. The average mammals now weighed about twenty pounds according to their fossils. Moreover, a change in temperature during the later portion of the Eocene Epoch caused other animals, not just mammals, to increase in size in response to the cooler climate. Not only did the animals get bigger but the temperature change also changed the habitats from being a lot of forests to more grasslands. Besides the temperature change, most land bridges between continents remained so that animals could move freely among most continents, excluding Australia. New sea animals include mollusks and the first ...
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... of tectonic plates that caused fault lines to move. This shift had a massive effect in changing the water currents of the oceans and even possibly influencing the atmospheric temperature.
The Eocene Epoch ended about 35 million years ago allowing the third epoch of the Cenozoic Era, the Oligocene, to begin. The end of the Eocene Epoch can be considered to be a facto of the plate movement observed above. Not only did the plates move but they also resulted in a distinct change in the temperatures observed in the atmosphere. The average temperatures suddenly cooling caused the overall climate to leave the moist, subtropical level and become very dry. The ice caps returned to the North and South Poles of the Earth. This form of cooling affected many organisms causing them to become extinct but also allowing for different types of habitats, like woodlands, to be made.
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