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A computerized file of approximately twenty thousand records of conodont occurrences was used in a quantitative study of conodont provincialism. Although biases in the fossil record, in specimen collection, and in data collection preclude any rigid statistical testing, study of quantitative measures of similarity between faunas, when combined with paleogeographic reconstructions, can give insight into provincial patterns and their possible causes.

Conodonts showed strong provinciality three times during Paleozoic time. In each instance, temperature is a plausible control of the provincial distribution. In the Ordovician, one fauna inhabited the low to mid latitudes in Laurentia, China, Siberia, and northern Gondwana....

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