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Abstract

Examination of early Paleozoic lithofacies, structural, biogeographic, and animal-community distribution data relative to the former distribution patterns of continental landmasses yields the following results. (1) A model fitting the circum-Atlantic continents together leads to a somewhat negative correlation. (2) A potential fitting together of Australia against either eastern Africa or Antarctica is similarly negative. (3) The placing together of the opposing sides of the Bay of Bengal is relatively negative. (4) The Mediterranean Sea is concluded to be a post-Devonian development separating a former continental entity much as the Red Sea separates Arabia and adjacent Africa. (5) There is no good evidence for the existence of a Tethyan seaway or geosyncllne during the early Paleozoic; the considerable body of available data indicates the presence of a continental platform across the entire region subsequently occupied by the Tethys. (6) Circum-Arctic data are inadequate at present for any firm conclusions to be made. (7) The Ural-Kazakhstan geosyncline during the Siluro-Devonian terminated against the western edge of the Angara landmass (itself continuous during this time interval with the Siberian and Russian platforms). Thus, early Paleozoic data concerning lithofacies, structure, and biogeographic and animal-community distribution patterns do not provide support for Jurassic or younger plate-tectonics or drift models. However, the data certainly are not adequate to disprove the possibility that such models have validity, except in the Mediterranean region.

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