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Abstract

The biogeographical distribution of Ordovician and Silurian gastropods, monoplacophorans and mimospirids has been analysed on a generic level. The dataset contains 334 genera and 2769 species, yielding 1231 records of genera with 2274 occurrences worldwide. There is a bias towards eastern Laurentia, Baltica and Perunica records. Some 53.1% of the records are Ordovician. The study demonstrates that these molluscs are well suited to being used to improve understanding of Ordovician and Silurian biogeographical provinciality. Specific points are that: a Lower Ordovician assemblage is evident in Laurentia; the fauna of the Argentinean Precordillera is Laurentian until the Darriwilian, when taxa are shared with North China; Late Silurian gastropods from the Alexander terrane (SE Alaska) are unknown in Laurentia, but support a rift origin of this terrane from NE Siberia; Perunica, Ibero-Armorica and Morocco cluster together throughout the Ordovician but Perunica and Morocco are closer; Darriwilian–Sandbian deep-water Bohemian taxa occur in Baltica; a Laurentian–Baltica proximity is unsupported until the Silurian; Siberia clusters with North China and eastern Laurentia during the Tremadocian–Darriwilian; during the Gorstian–Pridoli Siberia clusters with the Farewell and Alexander terranes; North China may have been close to Laurentia and the Argentinean margin of Gondwana; and the affinity of Tarim taxa is problematic.

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