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[pey-lee-uh-seen or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˈpeɪ li əˌsin or, esp. British, ˈpæl i-/ Geology
noting or pertaining to an epoch of the Tertiary Period, from 65 to 55 million years ago, and characterized by a proliferation of mammals.
the Paleocene Epoch or Series.
Origin of Paleocene
1875-80; paleo- + -cene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Word Origin and History for Paleocene

in reference to the geological epoch preceding the Eocene, 1877, from French paléocène (Schimpter, 1874), coined from paleo- + Greek kainos "new" (see recent). It is, thus, the "old new" age.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Paleocene in Science
The earliest epoch of the Tertiary Period, from about 65 to 58 million years ago. During this time, the Rocky Mountains formed and sea levels dropped, exposing dry land in North America, Australia, and Africa. Many new types of small mammals evolved and filled the niches left empty after the extinctions that ended the Cretaceous Period. Soft-bodied squid replaced the ammonites as the dominant form of mollusk. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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