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Third of the major eras of Earth history, and the interval of time during which the continents assumed their modern configurations and geographic positions. It was also the time when the Earth's flora and fauna evolved toward those of the present. The Cenozoic, from the Greek for recent life, began c. 65.5 million years ago and is divided into three periods: the Paleogene (65.5–23 million years ago), Neogene (23–2.6 million years ago) and Quaternary (2.6 million years ago to the present).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Cenozoic Era, visit Britannica.com.
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