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Geologic Time Scale: The Paleozoic Era

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The Paleozoic Era is the earliest part of the Phanerozoic Eon, starting 541 million years ago. This table lists all the subdivisions of the Paleozoic. Details beneath the table.

PeriodEpochAgeDates (m.y.)
PermianLopingianChianghsingian254.1-252.2
Wuchiapingian259.8-254.1
GuadalupianCapitanian265.1-259.8
Wordian268.8-265.1
Roadian272.3-268.8
CisuralianKungurian283.5-272.3
Artinskian290.1-283.5
Sakmarian295.0-290.1
Asselian298.9-295.0
Pennsylvanian
(Carboniferous)
Late PennsylvanianGzhelian303.7-298.9
Kasimovian307.0-303.7
Middle PennsylvanianMoscovian315.2-307.0
Early PennsylvanianBashkirian323.2-315.2
Mississippian
(Carboniferous)
Late MississippianSerpukhovian330.9-323.2
Middle MississippianVisean346.7-330.9
Early MississippianTourniaisian358.9-346.7
DevonianLate DevonianFamennian372.2-358.9
Frasnian382.7-372.2
Middle DevonianGivetian387.7-382.7
Eifelian393.3-387.7
Early DevonianEmsian407.6-393.3
Pragian410.8-407.6
Lochkovian419.2-410.8
SilurianPridoli
423.0-419.2
LudlowLudfordian425.6-423.0
Gorstian427.4-425.6
WenlockHomerian430.5-427.4
Sheinwoodian433.4-430.5
LlandoveryTelychian438.5-433.4
Aeronian440.8-438.5
Rhuddanian443.4-440.8
OrdovicianLate OrdovicianHirnantian445.2-443.4
Katian453.0-445.2
Sandbian458.4-453.0
Middle OrdovicianDarriwillian467.3-458.4
Dapingian470.0-467.3
Early OrdovicianFloian477.7-470.0
Tremadocian485.4-477.7
CambrianFurongianStage 10489.5-485.4
Stage 9494-489.5
Paibian497-494
Series 3Guzhangian500.5-497
Drumian504.5-500.5
Stage 5509-504.5
Series 2Stage 4514-509
Stage 3521-514
TerreneuvianStage 2529-521
Fortunian541-529
PeriodEpochAgeDates (m.y.)
(c) 2013 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com, Inc. (fair use policy). Data from Geologic Time Scale of 2013.

Back to the top-level geologic time scale

This geologic time scale represents the working edge of historical geology, showing the latest names and dates of the smallest divisions of geologic time that are universally recognized. The Paleozoic Era is the first part of the Phanerozoic Eon. For anyone but specialists, the rounded-off dates in the Phanerozoic table are sufficient. Each of these dates also has a specified uncertainty, which you can look up at the source. For example, the Silurian and Devonian age boundaries have more than 2 million years uncertainty and the Cambrian units are still being refined, but the rest of the chronology is more securely known.

The dates shown on this geologic time scale were specified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in 2013, and the colors were specified by the Committee for the Geologic Map of the World in 2009.

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