Explore extinct life by their name
(i.e., genus)

Explore extinct life by their common names
(i.e., Dinosaur, Bird)

Explore extinct life by family groupings
(i.e., cladistic relationships)

Explore extinct life by geological time period
(i.e., when the life form lived)

Explore extinct life by geographic location
(i.e., where the fossils were found)

Explore extinct life by paleontologist/author
(i.e., person(s) who named the life form)

Explore fantasy life forms shaped by the human mind and experience
(i.e., fictional creatures & monsters)

An introduction to the Extinct Life Pictorial Encyclopedia along with some statistics regarding what information is available

The Dinosaur Fan Non-sports Collectibles Digest

Fiction Novels Featuring Prehistoric Animals, Mutant Beasts & Primeval Man

Return to The Dinosaur Fan home page
Proterozoic Eon
2,500 m.y.a. to 541 m.y.a. (1,959 Million Years)
Life in the Proterozoic Oceans by University of Wisconsin
The inhabitants of the Proterozoic
United Nations Atlas of the Oceans
Physics 4u

Geological Ages Comprising the Proterozoic Eon
AgeStart (m.y.a.)End (m.y.a.)Length (m. y.)
How the Earth's Continents May Have Been During the Proterozoic Eon
View Continental Drift Animation
Click to View Continental Drift Animation


During the Proterozoic Period, the Earth’s crust expanded greatly and the transition to an oxygenated atmosphere allowing for the emergence of single-celled and multi-cellular life.

Tectonics and Paleoclimate

During the Proterozoic eon, the first continents began to develop and to expand into the supercontinent of Rodinia. For the first time, the Earth experiences a notable build up of oxygen in the atmosphere. The Earth was covered with extensive shallow salt water seas. Some rocks from the Proterozic Eon have survived into present day relatively unaltered and indicate that this eon featured massive, rapid continental expansion, aggregation and dispersal of Earth's continental crust (e.g., supercontinent cycles), and natural mountain building. The first known glaciations occurred during the Proterozoic, one began shortly after the beginning of the eon and several at the end of the eon leading into the global Sturtian glaciation.


Red AlgaePlant life during the Proterozoic eon was mostly limited to red and green algae and other multi-cellular flora such as that which left behind “carbon films” (small, dark compressions, most resembling circles, ribbons, leaves or seaweed). There were no known land plants.


StromatolitesThe fauna during the Proterozoic starts out with the first advanced single-celled and multi-cellular life including soft-bodied organisms such as bacteria, archaeans, eukaryotes , and Stromatolites (layered mounds produced by the growth of microbial mats) which continued to diversity and expand throughout most of the eon. It is theorized that during the Proterozoic the first symbiotic relationships between mitochondria (fauna) and chloroplasts (flora) and their respective hosts evolved.

Meteorite Impacts on Earth

I included a list of meteorite impacts relevant to this time period as a point of Goyder Meteorite Crater, Australia, Oceania (Age: 1,400 m.y.a., Dia: 1.9 mi) reference since many of the explanations for mass extinctions throughout Earth’s history include meteorite impact(s) as a possible cause. The meteorite impact information below was obtained from the ‘Earth Impact Database’ maintained by the Planetary and Space Science Centre, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada ( www.passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase).
The Earth Impact Database currently contains 23 meteorite impacts which are believed to have occurred during the Proterozoic Eon.
Crater NameCountry & ContinentDiameterLongitudeLatitudeM.Y.A.
FoelscheAustralia, Oceania6.00 km (3.728 mi)E 136° 47'S 16° 40'545
HollefordCanada, North America2.35 km (1.460 mi)W 76° 38'N 44° 28'550
Kelly WestAustralia, Oceania10.00 km (6.214 mi)E 133° 57'S 19° 56'550
SääksjärviFinland, Europe6.00 km (3.728 mi)E 22° 24'N 61° 24'560
SpiderAustralia, Oceania13.00 km (8.078 mi)E 126° 5'S 16° 44'570
AcramanAustralia, Oceania90.00 km (55.923 mi)E 135° 27'S 32° 1'590
SöderfjärdenFinland, Europe6.60 km (4.101 mi)E 21° 35'N 63° 2'600
SaarijärviFinland, Europe1.50 km (.932 mi)E 28° 23'N 65° 17'600
BeaverheadUnited States, North America60.00 km (37.282 mi)W 113° 0'N 44° 36'600
StrangwaysAustralia, Oceania25.00 km (15.534 mi)E 133° 35'S 15° 12'646
JänisjärviRussian Federation, Asia14.00 km (8.699 mi)E 30° 55'N 61° 58'700
LumparnFinland, Europe9.00 km (5.592 mi)E 20° 6'N 60° 9'1,000
Suvasvesi NFinland, Europe4.00 km (2.485 mi)E 28° 10'N 62° 42'1,000
Iso-NaakkimaFinland, Europe3.00 km (1.864 mi)E 27° 9'N 62° 11'1,000
GoyderAustralia, Oceania3.00 km (1.864 mi)E 135° 2'S 13° 28'1,400
Shoemaker (formerly Teague)Australia, Oceania30.00 km (18.641 mi)E 120° 53'S 25° 52'1,630
Amelia CreekAustralia, Oceania20.00 km (12.427 mi)E 134 ° 50'S 20° 55'1,640
KeurusselkäFinland, Europe30.00 km (18.641 mi)E 24° 36'N 62° 8'1,800
PaasselkäFinland, Europe10.00 km (6.214 mi)E 29° 5'N 62° 2'1,800
SudburyCanada, North America250.00 km (155.343 mi)W 81° 11'N 46° 36'1,850
YarrabubbaAustralia, Oceania30.00 km (18.641 mi)E 118° 50'S 27° 10'2,000
VredefortSouth Africa, Africa300.00 km (186.411 mi)E 27° 30'S 27° 0'2,023
SuavjärviRussian Federation, Asia16.00 km (9.942 mi)E 33° 23'N 63° 7'2,400

Return to top of this page