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Furongian Epoch
497–485.4 million years ago
Ages in the Furongian epoch/series
-497 —
-496 —
-495 —
-494 —
-493 —
-492 —
-491 —
-490 —
-489 —
-488 —
-487 —
-486 —
-485 —
Ages of the Furongian epoch/series.
Axis scale: millions of years ago.

The Furongian is the fourth and final epoch and series of the Cambrian. It lasted from 497 to 485.4 million years ago. It succeeds the Miaolingian series of the Cambrian and precedes the Lower Ordovician Tremadocian stage. It is subdivided into three stages: the Paibian, Jiangshanian and the unnamed 10th stage of the Cambrian.[1]


The Furongian was also known as the "Series 4" of the Cambrian and replaced the older term "Upper Cambrian" and equivalent to the local term "Hunanian". The name "Furongian" was ratified by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in 2003. Furong (芙蓉) means "lotus" in Mandarin and refers to Hunan which is known as the "lotus state".[2]


The lower boundary is defined in the same way as the GSSP of the Paibian stage. Both begin with the first appearance of the trilobite Glyptagnostus reticulatus around 497 million years ago.[3] The upper boundary is the lower boundary and GSSP of the Tremadocian stage which is the first appearance of the conodont Iapetognathus fluctivagus around 485.4 million years ago.[4]


The following table shows the subdivisions of the Furongian series/epoch:[1]

Epoch Stage Age (mya)
Lower Ordovician
Floian 477.7
Tremadocian 485.4
Stage 10 489.5
Jiangshanian 494
Paibian 497
Series 3
Guzhangian 500.5
Drumian 504.5
Stage 5 509


The base of two of three stages of the Furongian are defined as the first appearance of a trilobite. The base of the Paibian is the first appearance of Glyptagnostus reticulatus and the base of the Jiangshanian is the first appearance of Agnostotes orientalis.[2][5] The still unnamed Cambrian Stage 10 might be defined as the first appearance of Lotagnostus americanus or the conodont Eoconodontus notchpeakensis.[6]

The Furongian can be divided into a number of trilobite zones:

Series Stage Trilobite zone Trilobite GSSP
Furongian Stage 10 Saukia zone (upper part), Eurekia apopsis zone, Tangshanaspis Zone, Parakoldinioidiazone, Symphysurina zone[6] Lotagnostus americanus (undecided)
Jiangshanian Ellipsocephaloides zone, Saukia zone (lower part)[6] Agnostotes orientalis
Paibian ? (?) Glyptagnostus reticulatus


  1. ^ a b "GSSP Table - Paleozoic Era". Geologic Timescale Foundation. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b Peng, Shanchi; Babcock, Loren; Robison, Richard; Lin, Huanling; Rees, Margaret; Saltzman, Matthew (30 November 2004). "Global Standard Stratotype-section and Point (GSSP) of the Furongian Series and Paibian Stage (Cambrian)" (PDF). Lethaia. 37 (4): 365–379. doi:10.1080/00241160410002081. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  3. ^ "GSSP for the Paibian". Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  4. ^ "GSSP for the Cambrian - Ordovician Boundary". Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  5. ^ "GSSP for Jiangshanian". Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Landing, E.; Westrop, S.R.; Adrain, J.M. (19 September 2011). "The Lawsonian Stage - the Eoconodontus notchpeakensis FAD and HERB carbon isotope excursion define a globally correlatable terminal Cambrian stage". Bulletin of Geosciences: 621–640. doi:10.3140/bull.geosci.1251.