What is the Tethys, anyway?

In the early Triassic (about 250 million years ago) the Tethys Ocean began forming, really messing things up for Pangaea. It existed for more than 200 million years, until about 15 million years ago. During this time, the world saw the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, followed by the rise of mammals including every group of primates we see alive today. About two million years after the the Tethys Ocean was shrunk to a sea by encroaching continents, our common ancestors with gorillas went another way from our lineage–the lineage we share with chimpanzees and bonobos.

The Tethys saw every event that I plan to be posting about here. ¬†Every dinosaur footprint or tooth or bone fragment discussed, every evolutionary novelty and hominin–they all could have seen the same ocean.

Nowadays, you can see what’s left of the Tethys if you’d like–it is the Mediterranean Sea.

This blog focuses on several topics within science and social science, but primarily human evolution, culture and primatology. Within the cultural spectrum you’ll find discussions on social justice issues, sexism within the sciences and my own relationship with anxiety. It was named for a romanticization of the Tethys and paleontology, so despite having growing interests in other fields and subfields, the name stays.


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