The Pliocene world looked very similar to Earth today as North and South America had been drifting ever closer and the gap between them was sealed in this epoch. At the start of the Pliocene, over 5 million years ago, the north polar ice cap came and went with the seasons and with fluctuations in climate. However, as the world cooled in the late Pliocene, ice at the North Pole became permanent and grassland and tundra thrived. The human lineage split away from the chimpanzees' early on in the epoch.
Began: 5.3 million years ago
Ended: 2.6 million years ago
Grassland and grazing animals dominated three million years ago.
Computer graphics recreate some of the animals that lived in Ethiopia during the Pliocene, 3 million years ago. Grassland and grazing animals dominated the landscape.
During this period the following extinction level events are thought to have occurred.