Clockwise, from top left: Otavia, a multicellular organism from Tonian period, Snowball Earth glaciations from Cryogenian period, Ediacaran biota from Ediacaran period
Proposed redefinition(s)850–541 Ma
Gradstein et al., 2012
Proposed subdivisionsCryogenian Period, 850–630 Ma

Gradstein et al., 2012
Ediacaran Period, 630–541.0 Ma

Gradstein et al., 2012
Name formalityFormal
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitEra
Stratigraphic unitErathem
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionDefined Chronometrically
Lower GSSA ratified1991[1]
Upper boundary definitionAppearance of the Ichnofossil Treptichnus pedum
Upper boundary GSSPFortune Head section, Newfoundland, Canada
47°04′34″N 55°49′52″W / 47.0762°N 55.8310°W / 47.0762; -55.8310
Upper GSSP ratified1992[citation needed]

The Neoproterozoic Era is the unit of geologic time from 1 billion to 538.8 million years ago.[2]

It is the last era of the 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 Era of the Phanerozoic Eon.

The most severe glaciation known in the geologic record occurred during the Cryogenian, when ice sheets may have reached the equator and formed a "Snowball Earth".

The earliest fossils of complex multicellular life are found in the Ediacaran Period. These organisms make up the Ediacaran biota, including the oldest definitive animals in the fossil record.

According to Rino and co-workers, the sum of the continental crust formed in the Pan-African orogeny and the Grenville orogeny makes the Neoproterozoic the period of Earth's history that has produced most continental crust.[3]

  1. ^ Plumb, K. A. (June 1, 1991). "New Precambrian time scale". Episodes. 14 (2): 139–140. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/1991/v14i2/005.
  2. ^ "Stratigraphic Chart 2022" (PDF). International Stratigraphic Commission. February 2022. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  3. ^ 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. Bibcode:2008GondR..14...51R. doi:10.1016/

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