Debate:Should the names of the Paleocene and Eocene be switched?
The Names of the Paleocene and Eocene should be switch
Okay so starting with a simple intro. The Paleocene and the Eocene are the first and second epochs in the Cenozoic. The Paelocene's name comes from the Greek words palaios which means Old and Cene, which means new meaning the word Paleocene means the "old recent". Now you can already see the paradox with the name but that's not the problem. Now let's go to the Eocene which comes from the Greek word ēṓs, for "dawn" meaning "Dawn Recent" or for those who are grammercommies "Dawn of recent".
If you can't see the problem let me ask you a question, which comes first in a sequence? The dawn of something or an old part of something? (Keep in mind Recent is in comparison to current times). Many paleontologists claim that the Eocene saw the first of "modern fauna" and a turnover of many "Archaic fauna" But let's look at that. Did The earliest of modern groups evolve in the Eocene and not the Paleocene?And Did a lot of archaic groups die out in the Eocene?
Did The earliest of modern groups evolve in the Eocene? The earliest elephants,Eritherium, PrimmatesAltiatlasius, Odd toed Ungulates, and true Carnivores in the form ofProtictis. This runs counter to the claims of the Eocene.
Did many archaic groups from the Paleocene and prior go extinct in the Eocene? Let's go down a list.Both survivors of the K-Pg Extinction crocodile-like Choristodera and salamander-like Albanerpetonts outlived the Eocene by large margins going extinct in the early Miocene and early Pleistocene respectively.Even if we go a mammal-centrist view things are similar Condylarths survived both eras only going extinct in the Oligocene. The two carnivorous group of the Paleocene; the Mesonychid and Creodonts survived into the Oligocene.