Paleontological Journal

, 42:776 | Cite as

Origin and dispersal of the earliest brachiopods

  • G. T. UshatinskayaEmail author


Brachiopods first appeared at the very beginning of the Phanerozoic together with the first skeletal organisms. Most brachiopod taxa that arose in the first half of the Cambrian had a short temporal range and became completely extinct by the middle of the Middle Cambrian. Rigid articulation of the valves of brachiopods was provided by various structures, which also appeared in the Early Cambrian. This fact points to the importance of this feature for the formation of the whole group and at the same time testifies to the high variability of rigid articulation at the early stages of brachiopod evolution. This is a typical manifestation of archaic diversity in this animal phylum, which appeared very early in the Phanerozoic. Another important property of the archaic diversity of the early brachiopods was the large number of centers of diversification. As for the majority of groups, climatic zonality was the main factor determining the distribution of brachiopods at the beginning of the Phanerozoic. The main ecological types of brachiopods also appeared in the Early Cambrian.


Cambrian Ordovician Paleontological Journal Siberian Platform Lower Cambrian 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paleontological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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