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Brachiopod-dominated palaeocommunities incorporating a structure typical of faunal groups within the Palaeozoic Evolutionary Fauna were already present in North and East Gondwana and associated terranes as early as the mid-Cambrian, confined exclusively to shallow marine, inshore environments. The late Cambrian and Tremadoc record of these faunas is incomplete, because of pronounced global sea-level lowstand and subsequent break-up and destruction of the Cambrian Gondwanan margin. It is likely, however, that those groups later forming the core of the Palaeozoic Evolutionary Fauna evolved originally in shallow-water environments of low-latitude peri-Gondwana, and dispersed widely when favourable ecological conditions developed. Conspicuous sea-level rise...

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