Palaeos: Palaeos Proterozoic
TIMESCALE Proterozoic

The Proterozoic Eon

Proterozoic sea, by Zdenek Burian

The Proterozoic sea, by Zdenek Burian

The Proterozoic was the fourth (beginning with the Chaotian) of the eons of Earth history, and the longest, lasting some two gigayears, almost half the age of the Earth. As well as long stretches where nothing seems do happen for hundreds of millions of years (although this was doubtless also an artifact of logarithmic time), this was also a time of momentous changes, including the oxygenation of the atmosphere, the origin and diversification of eukaryote life, the modern regime of continental drift, one or more runaway icehouses during which the entire Earth froze over for tens of millions of years, and finally, the appearance of multicellular animal life, along with the short-lived and bizarre Ediacaran fauna. MAK111015

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