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1Relating to or denoting the eon that constitutes the later part of the Precambrian, between the Archean eon and the Cambrian period, in which the earliest forms of life evolved.
- ‘No rock standard has been identified formally as marking the base; at the top of the Proterozoic the Cambrian - Precambrian boundary is identified on the basis of fossils.’
- ‘The bulk of the Mozambique belt of eastern Africa and Madacascar is underlain by deeply eroded and multiply deformed high-grade Proterozoic and Archaean rocks.’
- ‘The key to understanding the early evolution of eukaryotes lies in the Proterozoic fossil record, especially microfossils.’
- ‘Archean and most Proterozoic sedimentary rocks are notable for their distinct lack of any bioturbated textures.’
- ‘This is the general name for all Archaean and Proterozoic basement gneisses of the NW Scotland mainland and Outer Hebrides.’
- 1.1as noun the Proterozoic The Proterozoic eon or the system of rocks deposited during it.
Late 19th century: from Greek proteros ‘former’ + zōē ‘life’, zōos ‘living’ + -ic.
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