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The Ordovician Period (ca. 488–444 Ma) witnessed profound changes in the biodiversity and biocomplexity of marine life, marked by the installation of a benthos dominated by suspension-feeding animals, most notably the brachiopods. The Ordovician brachiopod fauna was dominated by rhynchonelliformeans in contrast to that of the underlying Cambrian System, characterized by a diversity of various non-articulated groups. Over an interval of some 25 m.y., accelerating γ (inter-provincial), β (inter-community), and α (intra-community) diversity was initiated by high diversities among Early Ordovician brachiopod faunas associated with the dispersal of the continents and the high frequency of volcanic arcs and microcontinents (γ...

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