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The Plio-Pleistocene is an informally described geological pseudo-period, which begins about 5 million years ago (mya) and, drawing forward, combines the time ranges of the formally defined Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs—marking from about 5 mya to about 12 kya. Nominally, the Holocene epoch—the last 12 thousand years—would be excluded, but most Earth scientists would probably treat the current times as incorporated into the term "Plio-Pleistocene"; see below.

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  • Plio-Pleistoceno
  • Plio-Pleistocene
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  • The Plio-Pleistocene is an informally described geological pseudo-period, which begins about 5 million years ago (mya) and, drawing forward, combines the time ranges of the formally defined Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs—marking from about 5 mya to about 12 kya. Nominally, the Holocene epoch—the last 12 thousand years—would be excluded, but most Earth scientists would probably treat the current times as incorporated into the term "Plio-Pleistocene"; see below.
  • El Plio-Pleistoceno hace referencia al conjunto de épocas geológicas definidas formalmente como Plioceno y Pleistoceno, que abarcan los últimos 5 333 000 años, excluyendo los últimos 11 700 años, el Holoceno. El Plioceno es la última época del periodo Neógeno y el Pleistoceno es la primera época del periodo Cuaternario, datándose el límite entre ambas épocas y periodos en 2,588 Ma.
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  • El Plio-Pleistoceno hace referencia al conjunto de épocas geológicas definidas formalmente como Plioceno y Pleistoceno, que abarcan los últimos 5 333 000 años, excluyendo los últimos 11 700 años, el Holoceno. El Plioceno es la última época del periodo Neógeno y el Pleistoceno es la primera época del periodo Cuaternario, datándose el límite entre ambas épocas y periodos en 2,588 Ma. El término es particularmente útil cuando es difícil discriminar materiales sedimentarios como pertenecientes a una u otra época, ya que el Plio-Pleistoceno abarca una etapa de enfriamiento atmosférico gradual, pero prolongado a largo plazo, de las temperaturas generalmente más calientes desde la época previa, el Mioceno, hasta las condiciones del Pleistoceno tardío. La mitad de Plioceno vio el inicio de la glaciación del hemisferio norte en torno al 3 Ma, y muchos autores informalmente pueden utilizar "Plio-Pleistoceno" como sinónimo del tiempo en que se heló el hemisferio norte. En un contexto específicamente arqueológico, se ha utilizado "Plio-Pleistoceno" para describir un largo y continuo registro de estratos sedimentarios ubicados en Yakarta, en el este de África. Este período seudo-arqueológico data de alrededor de 2,5 Ma y 1,5 Ma, a caballo entre la frontera entre el Plioceno y Pleistoceno. El contenido de sus capas ofrece una visión del desarrollo de los vertebrados recientes, especialmente de los homininos.
  • The Plio-Pleistocene is an informally described geological pseudo-period, which begins about 5 million years ago (mya) and, drawing forward, combines the time ranges of the formally defined Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs—marking from about 5 mya to about 12 kya. Nominally, the Holocene epoch—the last 12 thousand years—would be excluded, but most Earth scientists would probably treat the current times as incorporated into the term "Plio-Pleistocene"; see below. In the contexts of archaeology, paleontology, and paleoanthropology, the Plio-Pleistocene is a very useful period to which scientists may assign the long and continuous run in East Africa of datable sedimentary layers and their contents (e.g. the Bouri Formation). These contents collectively present a focused view of the continuous evolution of the region's large vertebrates, especially the evolution of some African apes (hominids) to the earliest hominins; and then the development of the early humans and their toolmaking cultures. This shorter pseudo-period—from after 5 mya to about 1.5 mya—straddles the boundary between the Pliocene and the Pleistocene. Thereafter the Plio-Pleistocene formations in East Africa contain, and disclose, the genus Homo developing into archaic Homo sapiens, then to anatomically modern humans. The term is also useful in climatology and Earth sciences because the greater Plio-Pleistocene period covers the gradual but prolonged long-term cooling of the earth's atmosphere from the generally warmer temperatures of the late Oligocene / early Neogene times to and continuing through the Late Pleistocene—and indeed continuing through current times, if the present interglacial warming is considered as merely superimposed on the longer trend of cooling. Beginning about 3 mya, the late Pliocene saw the start of glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere, and many authors may informally use the term "Plio-Pleistocene" as a synonym for the period during which the Northern Hemisphere has been glaciated.
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