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This review summarizes research on the biostratigraphic application of Carboniferous marine and non-marine bivalves worldwide, with a focus on the southern margin of Laurussia and the Palaeotethys. Preliminary and established biostratigraphic zonations based on marine and non-marine bivalves are compiled and, if possible, correlated. Bivalve taxa of potential biostratigraphic significance are discussed, and possible limitations of bivalve zonations are outlined. Although marine and non-marine bivalves have not received primary attention for biostratigraphic purposes, a wealth of as yet unused data exists practically worldwide that can assist and complement the more favoured brachiopod, foraminiferid, ammonoid and conodont biozonations.

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