Oligocene Epoch – Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land

This video from the Museum’s Florida Fossils exhibit describes the Oligocene Epoch, 34 million to 24 million years ago. Global climates became cooler during the Oligocene, causing sea levels to drop. At least the northern portion of the Florida platform, once abundant with tropical, marine habitats, was now land.

Early immigrants to the Florida peninsula included amphibians, reptiles, bats, shrews and rabbits. Also, predators tracked dwarf horses and the strange, hoofed mammals, oreodonts and chalicotheres, onto this new land. In the ocean, huge sharks plied the depths, while several kinds of sea cows were abundant near shore.