The Holocene (or Recent) is the current geological epoch which started some 11,500 year
Holocene 1
s ago when the glaciers began to retreat. This retreat marked the end of the glacial phase of the most recent ice age. Its character was set by the spread of forests as the ice retreated and then by their shrinkage as mankind's demand for timber and agricultural land grew. Although we think of the Holocene as a warm time for the planet, we are still in an ice age. This is indicated by the presence of ice caps at the poles - the planet as a whole is just in an interglacial phase.

Earth FactsEdit

Sea levels rose in the Holocene as the Pleistocene ice retreated. Global warming caused by pollution continues this trend today. By the the start of the Holocene, the land bridge that linked Asia with North America was under water and New Guinea was seperated from Australia. Africa and Australia continue to move northward.


Early in the Holocene, people began to domesticate wild grasses. They deliberately cross-bred the types which produced the most seeds, or grew the fastest. Emmer is a primitive kind of wheat (Triticum) first domesticated in the Middle East. People soon found that by cross-breeding emmer with other kinds of grasses they could produce hardier, even more productive wheats.

Giant PandaEdit

Giant Pandas are Asian bears specialised for eating bamboo. Three species evolved in the Pleistocene but only one, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, survived into the Holocene. Many of the large bamboo forests that pandas need have been sadly cut down and the few surviving panda populations are now widely seperated. Pandas are also slow to breed, and are illegally hunted by poachers.

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