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Abstract

The earliest diversification of tetrapods is dated as Late Devonian based on 10 localities worldwide that have yielded bone remains. At least 18 different species are known from these localities. Their ages span the ‘middle’–late Frasnian to latest Famennian time interval, with three localities in the Frasnian, one at the F/F transition (though this one is not securely dated) and six in the Famennian. These localities encompass a wide variety of environments, from true marine conditions of the nearshore neritic province, to fluvial or lacustrine conditions. However, it does not seem possible to characterize a freshwater assemblage in the Upper Old Red Sandstone based upon vertebrates. Most of the tetrapod-bearing localities (8 of 10) were situated in the eastern part of Laurussia (=Euramerica), one in North China and one in eastern Gondwana (Australia), on a pre-Pangean configuration of the Earth, when most oceanic domains, except Palaeotethys and Panthalassa, had closed.

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