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    Late Pleistocene
    Middle Pleistocene
   Late Cretaceous
   Early Cretaceous
   Late Jurassic
   Middle Jurassic
   Early Jurassic
   Late Triassic
   Middle Triassic
   Early Triassic
   Late Devonian
   Middle Devonian
   Early Devonian
   Late Ordovician
   Middle Ordovician
   Early Ordovician
    Cambrian Stage 10
   Cambrian Series 3
    Cambrian Stage 5
   Cambrian Series 2
    Cambrian Stage 4
    Cambrian Stage 3
    Cambrian Stage 2
  Early Imbrian
  Basin Groups
Hierarchy:Phanerozoic Paleozoic
Classification:Period (as per International Commission on Stratigraphy)
Top:485.4 ± 1.9 Ma
Base:541 ± 1.0 Ma
Preceeds:Ordovician Early Ordovician  Tremadocian
Follows:Precambrian Proterozoic  Neoproterozoic   Ediacaran
Primary Divisions:FurongianCambrian Series 3Cambrian Series 2Terreneuvian
FGDC code:_
Name origin:Named after Cambria, the Latinised form of Cymru (the Welsh name for Wales) where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed. Name given by Adam Sedgwick in 1835.
Major diversification of life in the Cambrian Explosion.

Numerous fossils; most modern animal phyla appear. First chordates appear, along with a number of extinct, problematic phyla. Reef-building Archaeocyatha abundant; then vanish. Trilobites, priapulid worms,sponges, inarticulate brachiopods (unhinged lampshells), and numerous other animals.

Anomalocarids are giant predators, while many Ediacaran fauna die out. Prokaryotes, protists (e.g., forams), fungi and algae continue to present day.

Gondwana emerges.

Petermann Orogeny on the Australian continent tapers off (550–535 Ma).

Ross Orogeny in Antarctica.

Adelaide Geosyncline (Delamerian Orogeny), majority of orogenic activity from 514–500 Ma.

Lachlan Orogeny on Australian continent, c. 540–440 Ma.

Atmospheric CO2 content roughly 20–35 times present-day (Holocene) levels (6000 ppmv compared to today's 385 ppmv)

Geologic Events

Event NameTypeAgeArea
Caledonian orogeny (concludes)Orogeny~505 - ~400 MaEurope
Cambrian explosionEvolutionary event541 - 513 ± 3 MaGlobal
Gondwana formation (concludes)Continental Assembly~550 - ~500 MaGlobal
Damara orogeny (concludes)Orogeny~550 - ~495 MaNamibia
Zambezi Belt orogeny (late) (concludes)Orogeny~550 - ~520 MaZambia and Zimbabwe
Ross orogeny (concludes)Orogeny~550 - ~480 MaAntarctica
Cadomian orogeny (concludes)Orogeny~660 - ~540 MaEurope
Pannotia supercontinent (concludes)Supercontinent750 - 530 MaGlobal

Overview of geological time

List all geological events
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