Middle Miocene

The Middle Miocene is a sub-epoch of the Miocene Epoch made up of two stages: the Langhian and Serravallian stages. The Middle Miocene is preceded by the Early Miocene.

The sub-epoch lasted from 15.97 ± 0.05 Ma to 11.608 ± 0.005 Ma (million years ago). During this period, a sharp drop in global temperatures took place. This event is known as the Middle Miocene Climate Transition.

For the purposes of establishing European Land Mammal Ages this sub-epoch is equivalent to the Astaracian age.

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Aelurodon is an extinct canine genus of the subfamily Borophaginae which lived from the Barstovian land mammal age (16 mya) of the middle Miocene to the late Miocene (5.332 mya). Aelurodon existed for approximately 10.7 million years.


The Anatidae are the biological family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on all the world's continents. These birds are adapted for swimming, floating on the water surface, and in some cases diving in at least shallow water. The family contains around 146 species in 43 genera. (The magpie goose is no longer considered to be part of the Anatidae and is now placed in its own family, Anseranatidae.)

They are generally herbivorous, and are monogamous breeders. A number of species undertake annual migrations. A few species have been domesticated for agriculture, and many others are hunted for food and recreation. Five species have become extinct since 1600, and many more are threatened with extinction.

Ayacara Formation

The Ayacara Formation is a sedimentary formation made up of interbedded sand and siltstone cropping out around Hornopirén and Ayacara Peninsula in western Los Lagos Region, Chile. Less common rocks are tuff and conglomerate. The formation dates to the Early and Middle Miocene (no earlier than 21.8–17.6 million years ago) when it deposited during a marine transgression.


Balanerodus is an extinct genus of alligatorid crocodylian. Fossils have been found from the Fitzcarrald Arch in the Peruvian Amazon and the La Victoria Formation of the Honda Group in Colombia and date back to the Friasian and Laventan regional South American land mammal ages of the Middle Miocene.


Barinasuchus (meaning "Barinas crocodile," in reference to where the type material was found) is an extinct genus of sebecid mesoeucrocodylian. Its fossils have been found in middle Eocene-age rocks of the Divisadero Largo Formation of Argentina, middle Miocene-age rocks of the Ipururo Formation of Peru, and middle Miocene-age rocks of the Parángula Formation of Venezuela.


Borophagus ("gluttonous eater") is an extinct genus of the subfamily Borophaginae, a group of canids endemic to North America from the Middle Miocene epoch through the Late Pliocene epoch 12—2 Mya.


Cebupithecia is an extinct genus of New World monkeys from the Middle Miocene (Laventan in the South American land mammal ages; 13.8 to 11.8 Ma). Its remains have been found at the Konzentrat-Lagerstätte of La Venta in the Honda Group of Colombia. The type species is C. sarmientoi.


Cynarctina is an extinct clade of the Borophaginae subfamily of canids native to North America.

They lived from the Early to Middle Miocene 16.0—10.3 Ma, existing for approximately 5.7 million years. Cynarctines had rounded cusps on the molar teeth, similar to those seen in living bears, suggesting that they were likely omnivores.

Kinosternon pojoaque

Kinosternon pojoaque is an extinct turtle in the genus Kinosternon. It existed in what is now New Mexico, United States, during the Middle Miocene period. It was described by Jason R. Bourque in 2012.


The Langhian is, in the ICS geologic timescale, an age or stage in the middle Miocene epoch/series. It spans the time between 15.97 ± 0.05 Ma and 13.65 ± 0.05 Ma (million years ago) during the Middle Miocene.The Langhian was a continuing warming period defined by Lorenzo Pareto in 1865, it was originally established in the Langhe area north of Ceva in northern Italy, hence the name. The Langhian is preceded by the Burdigalian and followed by the Serravallian stage.

List of fossil bird genera

Birds evolved from certain feathered theropod dinosaurs, and there is no real dividing line between birds and dinosaurs, except of course that some of the former survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event while the latter did not. For the purposes of this article, a 'bird' is considered to be any member of the clade Aves sensu lato. Some dinosaur groups which may or may not be true birds are listed below under Proto-birds.

This page contains a listing of prehistoric bird taxa only known from completely fossilized specimens. These extinctions took place before the Late Quaternary and thus took place in the absence of significant human interference. While the earliest hominids had been eating birds and especially their eggs, human population and technology was simply insufficient to seriously affect healthy bird populations until the Upper Paleolithic Revolution. Rather, reasons for the extinctions listed here are stochastic abiotic events such as bolide impacts, climate change due to orbital shifts, mass volcanic eruptions etc. Alternatively, species may have gone extinct due to evolutionary displacement by successor or competitor taxa – it is notable that an extremely large number of seabirds have gone extinct during the mid-Tertiary; this seems at least partly due to competition by the contemporary radiation of marine mammals.

The relationships of these taxa are often hard to determine, as many are known only from very fragmentary remains and due to the complete fossilization precluding analysis of information from DNA, RNA or protein sequencing. The taxa listed in this article should be classified with the Wikipedia conservation status category "Fossil".

Before the late 19th century, when minerals were still considered one of the kingdoms of binomial nomenclature, fossils were often treated according to a parallel taxonomy. Rather than assigning them to animal or plant genera, they were treated as mineral genera and given binomial names typically using Osteornis ("bone-bird") or Ornitholithus ("bird fossil") as "genus". The latter name, however, is still in use for an oogenus of fossil bird eggs. Also, other animals (in particular pterosaurs) were placed in these "genera". In sources pre-dating the Linnean system, the above terms are also seen in the more extensive descriptions used to name taxa back then.

Middle Miocene disruption

The term Middle Miocene disruption, alternatively the Middle Miocene extinction or Middle Miocene extinction peak, refers to a wave of extinctions of terrestrial and aquatic life forms that occurred around the middle of the Miocene, roughly 14 million years ago, during the Langhian stage of the Miocene. This era of extinction is believed to be caused by a relatively steady period of cooling that resulted in the growth of ice sheet volumes globally, and the reestablishment of the ice of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Cooling that led to the Middle Miocene disruption has been attributed to CO2 being pulled out of the atmosphere by organic material before becoming caught in different locations like the Monterey Formation. Other ideas as to the cause for this cooling are connected to changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation. This period was preceded by the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of relative warmth from 18 to 14 Ma.


The Miocene ( ) is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago (Ma). The Miocene was named by Charles Lyell; its name comes from the Greek words μείων (meiōn, "less") and καινός (kainos, "new") and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene is preceded by the Oligocene and is followed by the Pliocene.

As the earth went from the Oligocene through the Miocene and into the Pliocene, the climate slowly cooled towards a series of ice ages. The Miocene boundaries are not marked by a single distinct global event but consist rather of regionally defined boundaries between the warmer Oligocene and the cooler Pliocene Epoch.

The apes first evolved, arose, and diversified during the early Miocene (Aquitanian and Burdigalian stages), becoming widespread in the Old World. By the end of this epoch and the start of the following one, the ancestors of humans had split away from the ancestors of the chimpanzees to follow their own evolutionary path during the final Messinian stage (7.5–5.3 mya) of the Miocene. As in the Oligocene before it, grasslands continued to expand and forests to dwindle in extent. In the seas of the Miocene, kelp forests made their first appearance and soon became one of Earth's most productive ecosystems.The plants and animals of the Miocene were recognizably modern. Mammals and birds were well-established. Whales, pinnipeds, and kelp spread.

The Miocene is of particular interest to geologists and palaeoclimatologists as major phases of the geology of the Himalaya occurred during the Miocene, affecting monsoonal patterns in Asia, which were interlinked with glacial periods in the northern hemisphere.

Rail (bird)

The rails, or Rallidae, are a large cosmopolitan family of small- to medium-sized, ground-living birds. The family exhibits considerable diversity and includes the crakes, coots, and gallinules. Many species are associated with wetlands, although the family is found in every terrestrial habitat except dry deserts, polar regions, and alpine areas above the snow line. Members of the Rallidae occur on every continent except Antarctica. Numerous island species are known. The most common rail habitats are marshland and dense forest. They are especially fond of dense vegetation.

Saimiri fieldsi

Saimiri fieldsi is an extinct species of New World monkeys in the genus Saimiri (squirrel monkeys) from the Middle Miocene (Laventan in the South American land mammal ages; 13.8 to 11.8 Ma). Its remains have been found at the Konzentrat-Lagerstätte of La Venta in the Honda Group of Colombia.


Sebecidae is an extinct family of prehistoric mesoeucrocodylian crocodylomorphs. Sebecids were diverse, abundant and broadly distributed in South America (mostly in Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia) during the Cenozoic, until the Middle Miocene; although it has been suggested that at least some forms could have survived until the Miocene-Pliocene boundary in Brazil.This group included many medium- and large-sized genera, from Sebecus to a giant indeterminate unnamed species from the Miocene.


The Serravallian is in the geologic timescale an age or a stage in the middle Miocene epoch/series, that spans the time between 13.65 ± 0.05 Ma and 11.608 ± 0.005 Ma (million years ago). The Serravallian follows the Langhian and is followed by the Tortonian.It overlaps with the middle of the Astaracian European Land Mammal Mega Zone, the upper Barstovian and lower Clarendonian North American Land Mammal Ages and the Laventan and lower Mayoan South American Land Mammal Ages. It is also coeval with the Sarmatian and upper Badenian stages of the Paratethys time scale of Central and eastern Europe.


The smew (Mergellus albellus) is a species of duck, and is the only living member of the genus Mergellus. Mergellus is a diminutive of Mergus and albellus is from Latin albus "white". This genus is closely related to Mergus and is sometimes included in it, though it might be closer to the goldeneyes (Bucephala). The smew has hybridized with the common goldeneye (B. clangula).A seaduck fossil from the Middle Miocene shows that birds similar to smew existed up to 13 million years ago. The extant species dates back to the Late Pleistocene.


The Vallesian age is a period of geologic time (11.6–9.0 Ma) within the Miocene used more specifically with European Land Mammal Ages. It precedes the Turolian age and follows the Astaracian age. The so-called Vallesian Crisis resulted in the extinction of several mammalian taxa characteristic of the Middle Miocene.

The term "Vallesian" was introduced by Catalan palaeontologist Miquel Crusafont in 1950 to mark the arrival of the equid Hipparion in Europe. The remaining European palaeofaunas, however, had been around since the Middle Miocene, including the moschid Micromeryx (a musk deer), the cervid Euprox, the suid Listriodon, and the felids Sansanosmilus and Pseudaelurus, and the Aragonian-Vallesian boundary does not represent a major shift in the European mammalian record. In contrast, the transition between Lower and Upper Vallesian corresponds to a major biotic crisis — the demise of most Aragonian artiodactyls, including the antelope Protragocerus, the bovid Miotragocerus, Listriodon, and the suids Hyotherium and Parachleusastochoerus. The crisis also affected rodents such as the family Eomyidae and most of the cricetids and glirids. They were replaced by species arriving from the east, Turolian in character: for example the suid Schizochoerus, the murid Progonomys, the bovids Tragoportax and Graecoryx, the hyaenid Adcrocuta, the felid Paramachairodus, and the suid Microstonyx.The Vallesian was a crucial period for the evolution of the European terrestrial fauna. During the Middle Miocene, the highly diversified mammalian fauna of the European forests were replaced by the faunas of the Late Miocene, adapted to a dry climate and to an open terrain. The beginning of the period is marked by the appearance and dispersal of the early horse Hipparion throughout Eurasia. The so-called Vallesian Crisis resulted in the extinction of several mammalian taxa characteristic of the Middle Miocene. The end of the Vallesian, and the beginning of the Turolian, brought the extinction in the west of faunas dominated by the bovids and giraffids characteristic of the so-called sub-Paratethyan or Greek-Iranian province.

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