Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Miocene (Greek melon, "less"; kainos, "recent"), a system of Tertiary rocks, named from the fact that less than 50 per cent. of its Mollusca belong to species still living. The system is unrepresented hi Britain (unless by some of the Mull and Antrim basalts), which was probably dry land during the Miocene period. Much of Europe seems to have been covered by large lakes and shallow arms of the sea, in which were deposited the sandy marls of the "Faluns" of Touraine and the sandstones, conglomerates, and lignites of the Swiss "molasse." The CEningen beds in the latter have yielded abundant fossils, especially plants. Tropical palms, figs, acacias, and myrtles seem during this period to have gradually given place to the more temperate poplar, hornbeam, and birch. The small three-toed horse Ancliitlicriuni, the earliest bear, Ryanarctos, the sabre-toothed tiger, Machcei-odns (q.v.), Beinotlicriiiiii (q.v.), and Mastodon among proboscideans, with the rhinoceros, deer, and true apes are the most characteristic mammals of the Miocene.