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Evolution of Micro-organisms and Plants


Quaternary Period, 2.588 MYA - present

Ice Age align= Quaternary The Quaternary period saw the global temperature continue to fall, culminating in what is known as the Ice Age (see Figure 28). Actually there is not one Ice Age but a whole series of glacial periods (principally in the Northern Hemisphere) interspersed by warm, even tropical, inter-glacials. And even the glacial periods themselves are divided into colder phases and temperate interstitials. This marked climatic oscillation is superimposed on the long-term global cooling that began in the mid-Tertiary. The most recent cycle ended only about 12,000 years ago. Plants in this period

Fig. 28 Ice Age
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Figure 29 Quaternary
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were basically modern flora, with successive communities according to climatic change. Figure 29 shows a landscape at the edge of the northern ice sheet. It contains conifers and deciduous trees.
See "Anatomy of Plants" in the appendix for more information about the living plants, which has branched and evolved from the early types to their present-day forms and structures.

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