The Lutetian is, in the geologic timescale, a stage or age in the Eocene.[2] It spans the time between 47.8 and 41.2 Ma. The Lutetian is preceded by the Ypresian and is followed by the Bartonian.[3] Together with the Bartonian it is sometimes referred to as the Middle Eocene subepoch.

Age (Ma)
Neogene Miocene Aquitanian younger
Paleogene Oligocene Chattian 23.0 27.8
Rupelian 27.8 33.9
Eocene Priabonian 33.9 37.8
Bartonian 37.8 41.2
Lutetian 41.2 47.8
Ypresian 47.8 56.0
Paleocene Thanetian 56.0 59.2
Selandian 59.2 61.6
Danian 61.6 66.0
Cretaceous Upper/
Maastrichtian older
Subdivision of the Paleogene Period
according to the ICS, as of 2019.[1]

Stratigraphic definition

The Lutetian was named after Lutetia, the Latin name for the city of Paris. The Lutetian stage was introduced in scientific literature by French geologist Albert de Lapparent in 1883[4] and revised by A. Blondeau in 1981.[5]

The base of the Lutetian stage is at the first appearance of the nanofossil Blackites inflatus, according to an official reference profile (GSSP) established in 2009.[6] Of two candidates located in Spain, the Gorrondatxe section was chosen.[7]

The top of the Lutetian (the base of the Bartonian) is at the first appearance of calcareous nanoplankton species Reticulofenestra reticulata.

The Lutetian overlaps with the Geiseltalian and lower Robiacian European Land Mammal Mega Zones (The Lutetian stage spans the Mammal Paleogene zones 11 through 15.[8]), the upper Bridgerian and Uintan North American Land Mammal Ages, the upper Arshantan and Irdinmanhan Asian Land Mammal Ages and the Mustersan and lower Divisaderan South American Land Mammal Ages. It is also coeval with the middle Johannian regional stage of Australia and the upper Ulatisian and lower Nanzian regional stages of California.


  1. "International Chronostratigraphic Chart". International Commission on Stratigraphy.
  2. Established by D.G. Jenkins and H. Luterbacher, "Paleogene stages and their boundaries (introductory remarks)" in Neues Jarhbuch fur Geologie und Paläontologie 1992.
  3. Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G. (2004): A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press.
  4. de Lapparent, A.A.C. (1883): Traité de Géologie, Paris.
  5. Blondeau (1981): "Lutetian" in Bulletin d'information des géologues du Bassin de Paris, 2, pp. 167–180.
  6. "The Lutetian GSSP at meter 167.85 of the Gorrondatxe section in a dark marly level where the nanofossil Blackites inflatus first appears" (working group website).
  7. See the website of Eustoquio Molina for these candidates.
  8. Alroy, John. "Mammal Paleogene zones". p. The Paleobiology Database. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
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