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The Neoproterozoic Era is the unit of geologic time from 1,000 to 541 million years ago.[1] It is the last era of the Precambrian
Precambrian
Supereon and the Proterozoic Eon; it is subdivided into the Tonian, Cryogenian, and Ediacaran Periods. It is preceded by the Mesoproterozoic era and succeeded by the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
era. The most severe glaciation known in the geologic record occurred during the Cryogenian, when ice sheets reached the equator and formed a possible "Snowball Earth". The earliest fossils of multicellular life are found in the Ediacaran, including the Ediacarans, which were the earliest animals. According to Rino and co-workers, the sum of the continental crust formed in the Pan-African orogeny
Pan-African orogeny
and the Grenville orogeny
Grenville orogeny
makes the Neoproterozoic the period of Earth's history that has produced most continental crust.[2]

Contents

1 Geology 2 Subdivisions 3 Paleobiology 4 Terminal period 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Geology[edit] At the onset of the Neoproterozoic the supercontinent Rodinia, which had assembled during the late Mesoproterozoic, straddled the equator. During the Tonian, rifting commenced which broke Rodinia
Rodinia
into a number of individual land masses. Possibly as a consequence of the low-latitude position of most continents, several large-scale glacial events occurred during the Neoproterozoic Era including the Sturtian and Marinoan
Marinoan
glaciations of the Cryogenian Period. These glaciations are believed to have been so severe that there were ice sheets at the equator—a state known as the "Snowball Earth". Subdivisions[edit] Russian geologists divide the Neoproterozoic of Siberia
Siberia
into the Baikalian from 850 to 650 Ma (loosely equivalent to the Cryogenian), which follows the Mayanian, from 1000 to 850 Ma, then the Aimchanian.[3] Paleobiology[edit] Main article: Ediacara biota The idea of the Neoproterozoic Era was introduced in the 1960s. Nineteenth-century paleontologists set the start of multicelled life at the first appearance of hard-shelled animals called trilobites and archeocyathid sponges. This set the beginning of the Cambrian
Cambrian
Period. In the early 20th century, paleontologists started finding fossils of multicellular animals that predated the start of the Cambrian. A complex fauna was found in South West Africa
Africa
in the 1920s but was inaccurately dated. Another fauna was found in South Australia in the 1940s but was not thoroughly examined until the late 1950s. Other possible early fossils were found in Russia, England, Canada, and elsewhere (see Ediacaran
Ediacaran
biota). Some were determined to be pseudofossils, but others were revealed to be members of rather complex biotas that are still poorly understood. At least 25 regions worldwide yielded metazoan fossils older than the classical Cambrian boundary at 541 million years ago.[4] A few of the early animals appear possibly to be ancestors of modern animals. Most fall into ambiguous groups of frond-like organisms; discoids that might be holdfasts for stalked organisms ("medusoids"); mattress-like forms; small calcareous tubes; and armored animals of unknown provenance. These were most commonly known as Vendian biota
Vendian biota
until the formal naming of the Period, and are currently known as Ediacaran
Ediacaran
Period biota. Most were soft bodied. The relationships, if any, to modern forms are obscure. Some paleontologists relate many or most of these forms to modern animals. Others acknowledge a few possible or even likely relationships but feel that most of the Ediacaran
Ediacaran
forms are representatives of unknown animal types. In addition to Ediacaran
Ediacaran
biota, two other types of biota were discovered in China (the Doushantuo Formation and Hainan Formation). Terminal period[edit] Main article: Ediacaran The nomenclature for the terminal Period of the Neoproterozoic Era has been unstable. Russian and Nordic geologists referred to the last period of the Neoproterozoic as the Vendian, while Chinese geologists referred to it as the Sinian, and most Australians and North Americans used the name Ediacaran. However, in 2004, the International Union of Geological Sciences ratified the Ediacaran
Ediacaran
Period to be a geological age of the Neoproterozoic, ranging from 635 to 541 million years ago.[1] The Ediacaran
Ediacaran
Period boundaries are the only Precambrian
Precambrian
boundaries defined by biologic Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Points, rather than the absolute Global Standard Stratigraphic Ages. See also[edit]

Boring Billion

References[edit]

^ a b Ogg, James G.; Ogg, Gabi; Gradstein, Felix M. (2008). The Concise Geologic Time Scale. Cambridge University Press. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-521-89849-2.  ^ Rino, S.; Kon, Y.; Sato, W.; Maruyama, S.; Santosh, M.; Zhao, D. (2008). "The Grenvillian and Pan-African orogens: World's largest orogenies through geologic time, and their implications on the origin of superplume". Gondwana Research. 14 (1–2): 51–72. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2008.01.001.  ^ Khomentovsky, V; Nagovitsin, K; Postnikov, A (2008). "Mayanian (1100–850 Ma) – Prebaikalian Upper Riphean of Siberia". Russian Geology and Geophysics. 49 (1): 1. Bibcode:2008RuGG...49....1K. doi:10.1016/j.rgg.2007.12.001.  ^ Knoll, A. H.; Walter, M.; Narbonne, G.; Christie-Blick, N. (2006). "The Ediacaran
Ediacaran
Period: a new addition to the geologic time scale". Lethaia. 39 (1): 13–30. doi:10.1080/00241160500409223. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neoproterozoic.

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Geologic history of Earth

Cenozoic
Cenozoic
era¹ (present–66.0 Mya)

Quaternary
Quaternary
(present–2.588 Mya)

Holocene
Holocene
(present–11.784 kya) Pleistocene
Pleistocene
(11.784 kya–2.588 Mya)

Neogene
Neogene
(2.588–23.03 Mya)

Pliocene
Pliocene
(2.588–5.333 Mya) Miocene
Miocene
(5.333–23.03 Mya)

Paleogene (23.03–66.0 Mya)

Oligocene
Oligocene
(23.03–33.9 Mya) Eocene
Eocene
(33.9–56.0 Mya) Paleocene
Paleocene
(56.0–66.0 Mya)

Mesozoic
Mesozoic
era¹ (66.0–251.902 Mya)

Cretaceous
Cretaceous
(66.0–145.0 Mya)

Late (66.0–100.5 Mya) Early (100.5–145.0 Mya)

Jurassic
Jurassic
(145.0–201.3 Mya)

Late (145.0–163.5 Mya) Middle (163.5–174.1 Mya) Early (174.1–201.3 Mya)

Triassic
Triassic
(201.3–251.902 Mya)

Late (201.3–237 Mya) Middle (237–247.2 Mya) Early (247.2–251.902 Mya)

Paleozoic
Paleozoic
era¹ (251.902–541.0 Mya)

Permian
Permian
(251.902–298.9 Mya)

Lopingian
Lopingian
(251.902–259.8 Mya) Guadalupian
Guadalupian
(259.8–272.3 Mya) Cisuralian
Cisuralian
(272.3–298.9 Mya)

Carboniferous
Carboniferous
(298.9–358.9 Mya)

Pennsylvanian (298.9–323.2 Mya) Mississippian (323.2–358.9 Mya)

Devonian
Devonian
(358.9–419.2 Mya)

Late (358.9–382.7 Mya) Middle (382.7–393.3 Mya) Early (393.3–419.2 Mya)

Silurian
Silurian
(419.2–443.8 Mya)

Pridoli (419.2–423.0 Mya) Ludlow (423.0–427.4 Mya) Wenlock (427.4–433.4 Mya) Llandovery (433.4–443.8 Mya)

Ordovician
Ordovician
(443.8–485.4 Mya)

Late (443.8–458.4 Mya) Middle (458.4–470.0 Mya) Early (470.0–485.4 Mya)

Cambrian
Cambrian
(485.4–541.0 Mya)

Furongian (485.4–497 Mya) Series 3 (497–509 Mya) Series 2 (509–521 Mya) Terreneuvian
Terreneuvian
(521–541.0 Mya)

Proterozoic
Proterozoic
eon² (541.0 Mya–2.5 Gya)

Neoproterozoic era (541.0 Mya–1 Gya)

Ediacaran
Ediacaran
(541.0-~635 Mya) Cryogenian (~635-~720 Mya) Tonian (~720 Mya-1 Gya)

Mesoproterozoic era (1–1.6 Gya)

Stenian (1-1.2 Gya) Ectasian (1.2-1.4 Gya) Calymmian (1.4-1.6 Gya)

Paleoproterozoic era (1.6–2.5 Gya)

Statherian (1.6-1.8 Gya) Orosirian
Orosirian
(1.8-2.05 Gya) Rhyacian (2.05-2.3 Gya) Siderian
Siderian
(2.3-2.5 Gya)

Archean
Archean
eon² (2.5–4 Gya)

Eras

Neoarchean (2.5–2.8 Gya) Mesoarchean (2.8–3.2 Gya) Paleoarchean
Paleoarchean
(3.2–3.6 Gya) Eoarchean
Eoarchean
(3.6–4 Gya)

Hadean
Hadean
eon² (4–4.6 Gya)

 

 

kya = thousands years ago. Mya = millions years ago. Gya = billions years ago.¹ = Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
eon. ² = Precambrian
Precambrian
supereon. Source: (2017/02). International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 13 July 2015. Divisions of Geologic Time—Major Chronostratigraphic and Geochronologic Units USGS Retrieved 10 March 2013.

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