From Wikipedia
83.6 ± 0.2 – 72.1 ± 0.2 Ma
Name formalityFormal
Usage information
Celestial body Earth
Regional usageGlobal ( ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unit Age
Stratigraphic unit Stage
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionNot formally defined
Lower boundary definition candidates LAD of the Crinoid Marsupites testudinarius
Lower boundary GSSP candidate section(s)
Upper boundary definitionMean of 12 biostratigraphic criteria
Upper boundary GSSP Grande Carrière quarry, Landes, France
43°40′46″N 1°06′48″W / 43.6795°N 1.1133°W / 43.6795; -1.1133
GSSP ratifiedFebruary 2001 [2]

The Campanian is the fifth of six ages of the Late Cretaceous epoch on the geologic timescale of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). In chronostratigraphy, it is the fifth of six stages in the Upper Cretaceous series. Campanian spans the time from 83.6 (± 0.7) to 72.1 (± 0.6) million years ago. It is preceded by the Santonian and it is followed by the Maastrichtian. [3]

The Campanian was an age when a worldwide sea level rise covered many coastal areas. The morphology of some of these areas has been preserved: it is an unconformity beneath a cover of marine sedimentary rocks. [4] [5]


The Campanian was introduced in scientific literature by Henri Coquand in 1857. It is named after the French village of Champagne in the department of Charente-Maritime. The original type locality was an outcrop near the village of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne in the same region. Due to changes of the stratigraphic definitions, this section is now part of the Maastrichtian stage.


The base of the Campanian stage is defined as a place in the stratigraphic column where the extinction of crinoid species Marsupites testudinarius is located. (A Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point or GSSP had not yet been ratified as of 2009: one possible candidate is a section near a dam at Waxahachie, Texas.) The top of the Campanian stage is defined as the place in the stratigraphic column where the ammonite Pachydiscus neubergicus first appears.


The Campanian can be subdivided into Lower, Middle and Upper subages. In the Tethys domain, the Campanian encompasses six ammonite biozones. They are, from young to old:


During the Campanian age, a radiation among dinosaur species occurred. In North America, for example, the number of known dinosaur genera rises from 4 at the base of the Campanian to 48 in the upper part. This development is sometimes referred to as the "Campanian Explosion". However, it is not yet clear if the event is artificial, i.e. the low number of genera in the lower Campanian can be caused by a lower preservation chance for fossils in deposits of that age. The generally warm climates and large continental area covered in shallow sea during the Campanian probably favoured the dinosaurs. In the following Maastrichtian stage, the number of North American dinosaur genera found is 30% less than in the upper Campanian. [6]


  1. ^ Super User. "ICS - Chart/Time Scale".
  2. ^ Odin, Gilles S.; Michèle A. Lamaurelle (2001). "The global Campanian-Maastrichtian stage boundary" (PDF). Episodes. 24 (4): 229–238. doi: 10.18814/epiiugs/2001/v24i4/002.
  3. ^ See Gradstein et al. (2004) for a detailed version of the geological timescale
  4. ^ Lidmar-Bergström, Karna; Bonow, Johan M.; Japsen, Peter (2013). "Stratigraphic Landscape Analysis and geomorphological paradigms: Scandinavia as an example of Phanerozoic uplift and subsidence". Global and Planetary Change. 100: 153–171. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2012.10.015.
  5. ^ Surlyk, Finn; Sørensen, Anne Mehlin (2010). "An early Campanian rocky shore at Ivö Klack, southern Sweden". Cretaceous Research. 31: 567–576. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2010.07.006.
  6. ^ See Weishampel et al. (2004)

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  • Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G.; 2004: A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press.
  • Varricchio, D. J. 2001. Late Cretaceous oviraptorosaur (Theropoda) dinosaurs from Montana. pp. 42–57 in D. H. Tanke and K. Carpenter (eds.), Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Weishampel, D.B.; Barrett, P.M.; Coria, R.A.; Le Loueff, J.; Xu, X.; Zhao, X.; Sahni, A.; Gomani, E.M.P. & Noto, C.N.; 2004: Dinosaur distribution, in: Weishampel, D.B.; Dodson, P. & Osmólska, H. (eds.): The Dinosauria, University of California Press, Berkeley (2nd ed.), ISBN  0-520-24209-2, pp 517–606.

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