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Palaeogeographers, geographers and structural geologists use different well-defined terms to designate continental and tectonic units, whereas biogeographers, palaeobiogeographers and palaeontologists use a wide range of subjective terminologies to describe biogeographical and palaeobiogeographical units. The absence of clear definitions and of rules or guidelines for palaeobiogeographical nomenclature has resulted in frequent misunderstandings and general confusion, in particular when applied to ancient time periods, such as the Palaeozoic. Palaeogeographical and palaeobiogeographical terminology used in Palaeozoic geology and palaeontology is reviewed, and recent attempts to standardize palaeobiogeographical nomenclature summarized. We make a number of proposals for future use of terms to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

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