The Tethys Ocean, also called the Tethys Sea or the Neo-Tethys, was a prehistoric ocean during much of the Mesozoic Era and early Cenozoic Era, located between the ancient continents of Gondwana and Laurasia, before the opening of the Indian and Atlantic oceans during the Cretaceous Period.
The Tethys Ocean existed between the continents of Gondwana and Laurasia during much of the Mesozoic era. Several smaller versions have existed down to the present day. Today's Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea are remnants of the Tethys Ocean.
This is a list of names which have been used for different stages of the Tethys:
- Proto-Tethys, from the latest Ediacaran to the Carboniferous 550–330 million years ago (mya)
- Palaeo-Tethys or Paleo-Tethys, from Carboniferous to early Jurassic
- Tethys Ocean proper, or Neo-Tethys, existed between the continents of Gondwana and Laurasia before the opening of the Indian and Atlantic oceans during the Cretaceous period. Roughly, a bigger Mediterranean, continuing right through to the Indian Ocean.
- Alpine or Paratethys sea to the north of the Tethys, roughly where the Alps are today.