Definition of Palaeocene in English:


(US Paleocene)


  • 1Relating to or denoting the earliest epoch of the Tertiary period, between the Cretaceous period and the Eocene epoch.

    • ‘Terrestrial deposits contain fossils ranging from Paleocene leaf imprints to Cretaceous dinosaur remains.’
    • ‘Initiation of a cold, upwelling current off the west coast of South America dates back to latest Cretaceous to earliest Palaeocene times.’
    • ‘This trend is evident at a coarse scale in a comparison of the combined rarefaction curves for sites from the uppermost 15 m of the Cretaceous against all Paleocene sites.’
    • ‘Both polar and Tethyan dispersal routes have been well documented for Cretaceous and Paleocene decapod crustaceans.’
    • ‘Echinoids are among the most conspicuous and diverse constituents of the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene marine invertebrate fauna of Argentina.’
    1. 1.1as noun the Palaeocene The Palaeocene epoch or the system of rocks deposited during it.

The Paleocene epoch lasted from 65.0 to 56.5 million years ago. It was a time of sudden diversification among the mammals, probably as a result of the mass extinctions (notably of the dinosaurs) which occurred at the end of the Cretaceous period (see Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary)


Late 19th century: from palaeo- + Greek kainos ‘new’.