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Biogeography of late Silurian and devonian rugose corals

January 1, 1977

Three marine benthic faunal realms can be recognized in the Early and Middle Devonian. The Eastern Americas Realm consisted of most of the eastern half of North America and South America north of the Amazon. This realm extended in a southwest direction from the Devonian equator to approximately 35??S and was an isolated epicontinental sea during much of its history. The Eastern Americas Realm was bounded on the west by the Transcontinental Arch, on the north by the Canadian Shield and on the east and southeast by a peninsular extension of the Old Red Continent. These barriers were emergent during much, but not all, of Devonian time. Seaways beyond these barriers belonged to the Old World Realm. The Malvinokaffric Realm that was farther south was apparently temperate to arctic in climate and latitudinal position and contained few corals. Rugose corals in the Eastern Americas Realm show increasing generic-level endemism from the Late Silurian through the Early Devonian; during the late Early Devonian, 92% of the rugosan genera are not known anywhere else in the world. Endemism decreased through the Middle Devonian to zero in the early Late Devonian. The Early Devonian increase in endemism paralleled, and was probably related to, the development of the Old Red Continent as a barrier between America and Africa-Europe. The waning of endemism in the Middle Devonian reflects the breaching of the land barriers. This permitted some migration in and out of the realm in early Middle Devonian time but greatest movements were in late Middle Devonian time. Principal migration directions were from western or Arctic North America into the Michigan-Hudson Bay area and from the southern Appalachian area into Africa. ?? 1977.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1977
Title Biogeography of late Silurian and devonian rugose corals
DOI 10.1016/0031-0182(77)90014-1
Authors W. A. Oliver
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Index ID 70009971
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse