Tertiary (/ˈtɜːr.ʃə.ri, ˈtɜːr.ʃiˌɛr.i/ TUR-shə-ree, TUR-shee-err-ee)[1] is an obsolete term for the geologic period from 66 million to 2.6 million years ago. The period began with the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, at the start of the Cenozoic Era, and extended to the beginning of the Quaternary glaciation at the end of the Pliocene Epoch. The time span covered by the Tertiary has no exact equivalent in the current geologic time system, but it is essentially the merged Paleogene and Neogene periods, which are informally called the Early Tertiary and the Late Tertiary, respectively. The Antarctic landmass became an icy island continent during the Tertiary period.

66.0 – 2.6 Ma
      Name formalityInformal
      Usage information
      Celestial bodyEarth
      Regional usageRegional(?)
      Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale (formerly)
      Formerly used byICS
      Chronological unitPeriod
      Stratigraphic unitSystem
      Time span formalityInformal
      Lower boundary definitionK-Pg extinction event
      Lower boundary GSSPNone
      Lower GSSP ratifiedN/A
      Upper boundary definitionBeginning of the Quaternary glaciation
      Upper boundary GSSPNone
      Upper GSSP ratifiedN/A

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