139.8 ± 3.0 – 132.6 ± 2.0 Ma
Name formalityFormal
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitAge
Stratigraphic unitStage
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionNot formally defined
Lower boundary definition candidatesFAD of the Calpionellid Calpionellites darderi
Lower boundary GSSP candidate section(s)
Upper boundary definitionFAD of the Ammonite genus Acanthodiscus
Upper boundary GSSPLa Charce, Drôme, France
44°28′10″N 5°26′37″E / 44.4694°N 5.4437°E / 44.4694; 5.4437
Upper GSSP ratifiedDecember 2019[2]

In the geologic timescale, the Valanginian is an age or stage of the Early or Lower Cretaceous. It spans between 139.8 ± 3.0 Ma and 132.6 ± 2.0 Ma (million years ago). The Valanginian Stage succeeds the Berriasian Stage of the Lower Cretaceous and precedes the Hauterivian Stage of the Lower Cretaceous.[3]

Stratigraphic definitions

The Valanginian was first described and named by Édouard Desor in 1853. It is named after Valangin, a small town north of Neuchâtel in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland.

The base of the Valanginian is at the first appearance of calpionellid species Calpionellites darderi in the stratigraphic column. A global reference section (a GSSP) had in 2009 not yet been appointed.

The top of the Valanginian (the base of the Hauterivian) is at the first appearance of the ammonite genus Acanthodiscus.[citation needed]


The Valanginian is often subdivided in Lower and Upper substages. The Upper substage begins at the first appearance of ammonite species Saynoceras verrucosum and the major marine transgression Va3.

In the Tethys domain, the Valanginian stage contains five ammonite biozones:


The oldest fossils that can definitely be attributed to the clade Angiospermae (flowering plants) are dated to the Late Valanginian.[4]



  1. ^ International Commission on Stratigraphy. "ICS - Chart/Time Scale".
  2. ^ Mutterlose, Jörg; Rawson, Peter; Reboulet, Stéphane; Baudin, François; Bulot, Luc; Emmanuel, Laurent; Gardin, Silvia; Martinez, Mathieu; Renard, Maurice (September 2020). "The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Hauterivian Stage (Lower Cretaceous), La Charce, southeast France". Episodes. 44 (2): 129–150. doi:10.18814/epiiugs/2020/020072. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  3. ^ See Gradstein et al. (2004) for a detailed geologic timescale
  4. ^ Coiro M, Doyle JA, Hilton J (July 2019). "How deep is the conflict between molecular and fossil evidence on the age of angiosperms?". The New Phytologist. 223 (1): 83–99. doi:10.1111/nph.15708. PMID 30681148.