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Short description: Third epoch of the Cambrian period
~509 – ~497 Ma
Cambrian graphical timeline
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Orsten Fauna
Archaeocyatha extinction
SSF diversification, first brachiopods & archaeocyatha
Dresbachian extinction
Subdivision of the Cambrian according to the ICS, as of 2021.[1]
Vertical axis scale: millions of years ago
Name formalityFormal
Former name(s)Cambrian Series 3
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitEpoch
Stratigraphic unitSeries
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionFAD of the Trilobite Oryctocephalus indicus.
Lower boundary GSSPWuliu-Zengjiayan, Guizhou, China
26°04′51″N 108°24′50″E / 26.0807°N 108.4138°E / 26.0807; 108.4138
GSSP ratified2018[2]
Upper boundary definitionFAD of the Trilobite Glyptagnostus reticulatus
Upper boundary GSSPPaibi section, Paibi, Hunan, China
28°23′22″N 109°31′33″E / 28.3895°N 109.5257°E / 28.3895; 109.5257
GSSP ratified2003[3]

The Miaolingian is the third Series of the Cambrian Period, and was formally named in 2018.[4] It lasted from about 509 to 497 million years ago and is divided in ascending order into 3 stages: the Wuliuan, Drumian, and Guzhangian. The Miaolingian is preceded by the unnamed Cambrian Series 2 and succeeded by the Furongian series.[5]


A number of proposals for fossils and type sections were made before it was formally ratified in 2018. The most promising fossil markers were seen to be the respective first appearances of either trilobite species Ovatoryctocara granulata or Oryctocephalus indicus,[6] which both have an age close to 509 million years ago.[5] After some deliberation, the FAD of Oryctocephalus indicus was chosen to be the lower boundary marker, and the GSSP was placed in Wuliu-Zengjiayan, Guizhou, China .[2]

The Miaolingian-Furongian boundary has the same definition as the Paibian Stage. It is defined as the first appearance of Glyptagnostus reticulatus around 497 million years ago.[5]


The Miaolingian is subdivided into the following stages:[5]

Epoch Stage Age (mya)
Stage 10 489.5
Jiangshanian 494
Paibian 497
Guzhangian 500.5
Drumian 504.5
Wuliuan 509
Series 2
Stage 4 514
Stage 3 521


  1. "Chart/Time Scale". International Commission on Stratigraphy. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Zhao2019
  3. Peng, S. C.; Babcock, L. E.; Robison, R. A.; Lin, H. L.; Rees, M. N.; Saltzman, M. R. (2004). "Global Standard Stratotype-Section and Point (GSSP) of the Furongian Series and Paibian Stage (Cambrian)". Lethaia 37 (4): 365–379. doi:10.1080/00241160410002081. Retrieved 8 December 2020. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "GSSP Table - Paleozoic Era". 
  6. Gozalo, Rodolfo; Álvarez, María Eugenia Dies; Vintaned, José Antonio Gámez; Zhuravlev, Andrey Yu.; Bauluz, Blanca; Subías, Ignacio; Chirivella Martorell, Juan B.; Mayoral, Eduardo et al. (1 December 2011). "Proposal of a reference section and point for the Cambrian Series 2-3 boundary in the Mediterranean subprovince in Murero (NE Spain) and its intercontinental correlation". Geological Journal 48 (2–3): 142–155. doi:10.1002/gj.1330.