Reptile Evolution In The Cenozoic Era

755 Words4 Pages
Reptile Evolution in the Cenozoic Era
Cenozoic Era is that stretch of geologic time that began approximately 65 mya and extends into the present. It is divided into Paleogene period (Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene) 65-23 mya, Neogene period (Miocene, Pliocene) 23-2.58 mya, and Quarternary period (Pleistocene, Holocene) 2.6 mya to present Reptiles that survived the mass extinction continued to evolve during this time into various open ecological niches (Fossilmuseum, 2016). As evidenced by existing records, not much of evolutionary changes occurred over this period since most reptiles resembled what we recognize them to be today and all dinosaurs except birds lived on.
The Cenozoic period is characterized by diversification of plants inclusive
…show more content…
This group consists of 6000 ectothermic species and has been around since the Jurassic period. Lizards occupy nearly all habitats. Terrestrial Lizards, for example, the iguana, diversified in the terrestrial habitats. Today, they continue to inhabit tropical areas of Mexico, the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America. Additionally, other lizards are arboreal, aquatic, and burrowing. Aerial reptiles like the Pterosaurs, however, became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, while Megalania ceases to exist in the Quaternary Period. Many of the reptiles exhibit reduction or absolute loss of limbs as seen in some legless species like the glass lizard and worm…show more content…
A., Ksepka, D. T., Jaramillo, C. A., & Bloch, J. I. (2012). New pelomedusoid turtles from the late Palaeocene Cerrejón Formation of Colombia and their implications for phylogeny and body size evolution. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 10(2), 313-331.
Cenozoic Era. (2016). Retrieved 28 August 2016, from
Gibbons, J. W., & Lovich, J. E. (1990). Sexual dimorphism in turtles with emphasis on the slider turtle (Trachemys scripta). Herpetological monographs, 4(1), 29.
Hastings, A. K., Bloch, J. I., & Jaramillo, C. A. (2011). A new longirostrine dyrosaurid (Crocodylomorpha, Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Paleocene of north‐eastern Colombia: biogeographic and behavioural implications for New‐World Dyrosauridae. Palaeontology, 54(5), 1095-1116.
Phylum Chordata – Vertebrates Reptilia. (2015). Retrieved 28 August 2016, from
Rhodin, A. G., van Dijk, P. P., Iverson, J. B., & Shaffer, H. B. (2010). Turtles of the world, 2010 update: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status. Chelonian Research Monographs, 5(3),
Open Document