Radiocarbon dating of fossils taken from

Other subdivisions reflect the evolution of life; the Archean and Proterozoic are both eons, the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic are eras of the Phanerozoic eon.The three million year Quaternary period, the time of recognizable humans, is too small to be visible at this scale.Some other planets and moons in the Solar System have sufficiently rigid structures to have preserved records of their own histories, for example, Venus, Mars and the Earth's Moon.Dominantly fluid planets, such as the gas giants, do not preserve their history in a comparable manner.

Steno argued that rock layers (or strata) were laid down in succession, and that each represents a "slice" of time.The first three of these can be referred to collectively as the Precambrian supereon.Eons are divided into eras, which are in turn divided into periods, epochs and ages.In East Asia and Siberia, the same unit is split into Alexian, Atdabanian, and Botomian stages.A key aspect of the work of the International Commission on Stratigraphy is to reconcile this conflicting terminology and define universal horizons that can be used around the world.

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