Time from Earth's formation to the Cambrian period

Pre-cambrian (or Precambrian) is a term used to describe the eons before the Cambrian. It lasted from about 4.567 billion years BC to about 542 million years BC. It starts with the beginning of the Earth, about 4.567 billion years BC.[1][2][3] When it ends, there were many hard-shelled animals around. It is named after the Roman name for Cymru / Wales, because rocks thought to be from this time were first studied there.

The supereon is subdivided into 3 eons, the Hadean (4.5 to 4 billion years BC), the Archaean (4 to 2.5 billion years BC) and the Proterozoic (from 2.5 billion years to 542 million years BC).[4]

The immediate Precambrian period is the Ediacaran.


  1. "Age of the Earth". U.S. Geological Survey. 1997. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  2. Dalrymple, G. Brent (2001). "The age of the Earth in the twentieth century: a problem (mostly) solved". Special Publications, Geological Society of London. 190 (1): 205–221. Bibcode:2001GSLSP.190..205D. doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.2001.190.01.14. S2CID 130092094.
  3. Manhesa, Gérard; Allègrea, Claude J.; Dupréa, Bernard; and Hamelin, Bruno (1980). "Lead isotope study of basic-ultrabasic layered complexes: Speculations about the age of the earth and primitive mantle characteristics". Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier B.V. 47 (3): 370–382. Bibcode:1980E&PSL..47..370M. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(80)90024-2.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Stanley, Steven M. 1999. Earth system history. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-2882-6.