Proterozoic Stromatolites1

Lower Proterozoic Stromatolites from Bolivia, South America

The Proterozoic is a geological eon representing a period before the first abundant complex life on Earth. The name Proterozoic comes from the Greek "earlier life." The Proterozoic Eon extended from 2500 Ma to 542.0 ± 1.0 Ma (million years ago), and is the most recent part of the old, informally named ‘Precambrian’ time.

The Proterozoic consists of 3 geologic eras, from oldest to youngest:

The well-identified events were:

  • The transition to an oxygenated atmosphere during the Mesoproterozoic.
  • Several glaciations, including the hypothesized Snowball Earth during the Cryogenian period in the late Neoproterozoic.
  • The Ediacaran Period (635 to 542 Ma) which is characterized by the evolution of abundant soft-bodied multicellular organisms.

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Preceded by Archean eon 2.5 Ga - Proterozoic eon - 542 Ma Followed by Phanerozoic eon
2.6 Ga - Paleoproterozoic era - 1.6 Ga 1.6 Ga - Mesoproterozoic era - 1.0 Ga 1.0 Ga - Neoproterozoic era - 542 Ma
Siderian Rhyacian Orosirian Statherian Calymmian Ectasian Stenian Tonian Cryogenian Ediacaran
Geological time spiral

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