North America, Early Tertiary period. Image 8 of 9. Computer artwork of the Palaeocene epoch stage (approximately 60 million years ago) of a sequence showing the formation of the North American continent. The Palaeocene epoch lies in the Tertiary period, which extended from 65 to 1.6 million years ago and began with the extinction of the dinosaurs. The continents are slowly moved over the surface of the Earth by currents in the fluid mantle below the crust. Over millions of years the continents moved into the positions they are in today. For North America at different points throughout prehistory, see images E402/153 to E402/161.
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