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The Palaeocene or Paleocene ("Old New", from Greek palaios, "older", kainos "new") is the first epoch of the Paleogene period of the modern Cenozoic era. The Palaeocene starts with the K-Pg Extinction event which wiped out the Non-avian dinosaurs[1] and ended with the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which resulted in a mass extinction of deep-sea algae and a major turnover of mammals on land around 55.8 Mya.[2] The Palaeocene starts around 66-65 Mya to 56-54 Mya (according to different sources, it ended 56 according to some sources, 54 according to others).

The K-Pg Extinction Event ended up with new niches vacant, which resulted in an explosive evolutionary radiation of mammals[3], birds, snakes, fish and crocodiles, with many new bird orders and families appearing.[4] The earliest owls appeared in France and North America during the Late Palaeocene.[5]