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Marine organisms closely reflect the temperature, depth, and salinity of the water in which they live, and studies of the fossil succession from deep-sea cores have allowed detailed reconstructions of oceanic conditions for the late Pleistocene.Planktonic foraminifers are most useful for determining sea-surface conditions, and changes in the distribution of polar, subpolar, subtropical, and tropical faunas have been used to map changing oceanic conditions.Thus, plants and animals whose geographic ranges would ordinarily be controlled by either extreme seasonal warm or cold conditions were able to coexist during glacial times, and considerable community reorganization took place in response to climatic change during and following a glaciation.

Mammalian evolution included the development of large forms, many of which became adapted to Arctic conditions.

Among these were the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, musk ox, moose, reindeer, and others that inhabited the cold periglacial areas.

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animals of the Pleistocene are, in many respects, similar to those living today, but important differences exist.

Representatives of this group are known from many sites, and these beings constituted the dominant , appeared approximately 100,000 years ago during the last interglaciation and are known from many sites in Europe and western Asia.

Modern humans arrived in Europe some 45,000–43,000 years ago, and both species overlapped on the continent for at least 10,000 years.

Large mammals that inhabited the more temperate zones included the elephant, mastodon, bison, hippopotamus, wild hog, deer, giant beaver, horse, and ground sloth.

The evolution of these as well as of much smaller forms was affected in part by three factors: (1) a generally cooler, more arid climate subject to periodic fluctuations, (2) new migration routes resulting largely from the emergence of intercontinental connections during times of lower sea level, and (3) a changing geography due to the uplift of plateaus and mountain building., probably evolved from an australopithecine ancestor in the late Pliocene.

One explanation is that climatic conditions may have been more equable during glacial times and may have lacked the seasonal extremes of modern climates in such areas.

Although overall temperatures were significantly lower, summers probably were much cooler because of the influence of the ice sheet, and winters, except very near the ice margin, lacked severe cold spells, as the ice sheet formed a barrier to Arctic air masses that today bring freezing conditions far to the south.

If such findings are valid, the group of earlier immigrants may have arrived by small ocean-going craft from the Pacific Islands.climatic variation caused drastic disruptions of faunas and floras both on land and in the oceans.

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