The Cenozoic Era
The Cenozoic Era is the period of geologic time spanning from 66mya (mya = million years ago) to the present day. It is the time immediately following the Mesozoic Era, better known as the "Age of Dinosaurs". After the catastrophic events that led to the extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs, mammals were quick to diversify and became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates. Hence, this era is also known as the “Age of Mammals”

The Cenozoic era is divided into three periods (Paleogene, Neogene, and Quaternary) and seven epochs (Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Holocene). The name Cenozoic is derived from the Greek words cainos and zoe, literally meaning "New Life".
  • Paleogene (66 to 23mya)
    • Paleocene (66 to 56mya)
    • Eocene (56 to 34mya)
    • Oligocene (34 to 23mya)
  • Neogene (23 to 2.5mya)
    • Miocene (23 to 5mya)
    • Pliocene (5 to 2.5mya)
  • Quaternary (2.5mya to present)
    • Pleistocene (2.5mya to 13,000ya)
    • Holocene (13,000 to present)
The Author
My name is Aaron Woodruff, a paleontologist and freelance paleoartist based in the United States. My lifelong passion for animals, both living and extinct, has led me to obtain degrees in biology (2012) and paleontology (2016). Of particular interest to me, and a topic discussed frequently in this blog, is comparative ecomorphology: the relationship between an organism's morphological adaptations and its ecological role. This area may be used to infer various aspects of how an extinct animal may have lived its life and interacted with its environment including general behavioral patterns, food preferences, and overall physical capabilities, not to mention potential evolutionary relationships. 

This Blog
Driven by my own love of learning new things and a desire to share my knowledge with others, Life in the Cenozoic Era was made to provide a accessible source of information of Cenozoic animals to the global online community. Unless stated otherwise, all artwork presented in this blog was produced by me and made for educational purposes and their online use and distribution is encouraged as long as proper credit is given. Commissioned artwork may be requested via private messaging on any of my social media platforms (listed below). Direct links to the source material can be found in the "References & Further Reading" section at the end of each blog entry. All posts are subject to updates as new papers are published or better artwork is created.

Companion Platforms
I also recommend subscribing to the any of these companion social media platforms: Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter. In addition to notifications of new posts from this blog, I share other interesting articles, videos, artwork, and photos that further delineate the animals and ecosystems of this great period in Earth's history. 

Please lend me your support on Patreon to help the blog grow and visit my Redbubble store for special merchandise.

Don't forget to like and share the posts that interest you!


  1. I was just reading your article on Chalicotheres, linked via G+. You write well! Very accessible for a lay-person, interesting and well organized.

    I loved the pictures and didn't realize until I read this page that you drew them - awesome work!! Incredible.

  2. Love your blog. I got interested in this topic after reading Weisman's 'The world without us'