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Article: Late Ordovician brachiopods from Peru and their palaeobiogeographical relationships

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 58
Part: 3
Publication Date: May 2015
Page(s): 455 487
Author(s): Enrique Villas, Jorge Colmenar and Juan C. Gutiérrez-Marco
Addition Information

How to Cite

VILLAS, E., COLMENAR, J., GUTIÉRREZ-MARCO, J.C. 2015. Late Ordovician brachiopods from Peru and their palaeobiogeographical relationships. Palaeontology, 58, 3, 455-487.

Author Information

  • Enrique Villas - Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain (email:
  • Jorge Colmenar - Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain (email:
  • Juan C. Gutiérrez-Marco - Instituto de Geociencias (CSIC, UCM), Madrid, Spain (email:

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 21 APR 2015
  • Article first published online: 25 FEB 2015
  • Manuscript Accepted: 15 DEC 2014
  • Manuscript Received: 7 AUG 2014

Funded By

Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness
Department of Science, Technology and University of the Aragón Government
European Social Fund

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library
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A Sandbian brachiopod association from the Calapuja Formation, in the Peruvian Altiplano, north-west of Lake Titicaca, has allowed a re-examination of the palaeobiogeographical relationships between Gondwana and Avalonia during the Late Ordovician, when the palaeocontinents are considered to be already very distant from one another. The brachiopod fauna includes the new species Onnizetina calapujensis sp. nov., Horderleyella chacaltanai sp. nov., Drabovinella minuscula sp. nov. and Tasmanella curtiseptata sp. nov., as well as Caeroplecia sp., Dinorthis cf. flabellulum and Tunariorthis cardocanalis. In addition, Colaptomena expansa expansa and Heterorthis retrorsistria, known from the British Burrellian Stage of the Caradoc Series (late Sandbian) in Wales and the Welsh Borderlands, have also been identified. The brachiopod collection is the most diverse known from a single locality in the whole Central Andean Basin. Within it, forms with clear Gondwanan links occur, such as the new species of Onnizetina, Drabovinella and Horderleyella, and typical representatives of the Avalonian faunas, such as the Welsh Colaptomena expansa expansa and Heterorthis retrorsistria. The brachiopod species exchange between the Proto-Andean margin of Gondwana and Avalonia, now believed to be possible during the late Sandbian, allows a reconsideration of the global taxonomic affinities of both regions. With this in mind, detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and cluster analysis have been applied to an updated rhynchonelliformean brachiopod matrix consisting of presence/absence data. The scatter plot resulting from the DCA allows a vivid visualization of the grouping and geographical trends of the South American localities with respect to Avalonia–Baltica and the Mediterranean margin of Gondwana during the Sandbian. Our results agree with previous palaeogeographical reconstructions, depicting Avalonia very close to Baltica and already distant from Gondwana. As a few brachiopod species, with low dispersal potential, would have been able to migrate between those distant palaeocontinents, the existence of intermediate islands in the Rheic Ocean, permitting the transit by island hopping of eurythermal species, must be considered.

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