259.51 ± 0.21 – 251.902 ± 0.024 Ma
Name formalityFormal
Synonym(s)Late/Upper Permian
Usage information
Celestial bodyEarth
Regional usageGlobal (ICS)
Time scale(s) usedICS Time Scale
Chronological unitEpoch
Stratigraphic unitSeries
Time span formalityFormal
Lower boundary definitionFAD of the Conodont Clarkina postbitteri postbitteri
Lower boundary GSSPPenglaitan Section, Laibin, Guangxi, China
23°41′43″N 109°19′16″E / 23.6953°N 109.3211°E / 23.6953; 109.3211
Lower GSSP ratified2004
Upper boundary definitionFAD of the Conodont Hindeodus parvus.
Upper boundary GSSPMeishan, Zhejiang, China
31°04′47″N 119°42′21″E / 31.0798°N 119.7058°E / 31.0798; 119.7058
Upper GSSP ratified2001

The Lopingian is the uppermost series/last epoch of the Permian. It is the last epoch of the Paleozoic. The Lopingian was preceded by the Guadalupian and followed by the Early Triassic.

The Lopingian is often synonymous with the informal terms late Permian or upper Permian.

The name was introduced by Amadeus William Grabau in 1931 and derives from Leping, Jiangxi in China. It consists of two stages/ages. The earlier is the Wuchiapingian and the later is the Changhsingian.

The International Chronostratigraphic Chart (v2018/07) provides a numerical age of 259.1 ±0.5 Ma. If a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) has been approved, the lower boundary of the earliest stage determines numerical age of an epoch. The GSSP for the Wuchiapingian has a numerical age of 259.8 ± 0.4 Ma.

Evidence from Milankovitch cycles suggests that the length of an Earth day during this epoch was approximately 22 hours.


During the Lopingian, most of the earth was in the supercontinent Pangaea. The Zechstein sea, would, at times, be connected to the Paleotethys; Other features of the earth during the time were the Microcontinent Cathaysia; And the Cimmerian superterrane, which divided the Tethys Ocean realm into the Paleo-Tethys Ocean and the slowly expanding Neotethys Ocean.


The Lopingian ended with the Permian–Triassic extinction event, where over 95% of species went extinct.

The series follows the Guadalupian, which ended with the Capitanian mass extinction, during which many species of brachiopods, ammonoids and other groups went extinct.

Conodonts would reach their all-time low during this period, despite this, they are recovered from most marine Permian localities. Common conodonts from the Lopingian include the genera Clarkina and Hindeodus.

The Lopingian would see the decline of the Paleozoic ammonoid orders (Goniatitida and Prolecanitida) and the rise of the order Ceratitida, especially within the superfamily Xenodiscoidea.

Only seven trilobites are known from the Lopingian, with only five by the end of the epoch. One of the last members of this clade was Kathwaia capitorosa.

Eurypterids were nearly extinct by this point, consisting of the possibly Lopingian Campylocephalus permicus of Russia; and the Changhsingian Woodwardopterus? freemanorum of Australia.

A member of the extant Horseshoe crab family, Limulidae; Guangyuanolimulus appears at the end of the period.

On land, gorgonopsians would become the apex predators after the extinction of the Dinocephalians, Other predators include the Therocephalians. Herbivorous animals of the Lopingian include the pareiasaurs such as Scutosaurus or dicynodonts, such as Dicynodon.

Fossil gallery

See also

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