The biogeographical patterns shown by Ordovician linguliform and craniiform brachiopods are greatly influenced by their dominance in low-diversity associations in marginal environments. This is particularly evident in the Early Ordovician, when linguliform-dominated dysaerobic assemblages are widely distributed along the deep shelves of Gondwana, the Kazakhstanian terranes and in Baltica. By the Darriwilian, micromorphic linguliforms are characteristic components of the pantropical climatic-controlled faunas of Laurentia, Cuyania and Kazakhstanian terranes, which - in spite of separation by extensive oceans - retain a distinct similarity. Analysis of craniiform biogeographical distribution is impeded significantly by the poor state of craniide taxonomy and lack of reliable data from most regions. However, in general their biogeographical dispersion is similar to other groups of the Palaeozoic Evolutionary Fauna. Unlike the linguliforms, which are important members of the Cambrian Evolutionary Fauna, there is no convincing Cambrian craniiform record; they may have evolved and dispersed from Gondwana and associated microcontinents and island arcs. The earliest well-established record is from the late Tremadocian of temperate to high-latitude peri-Gondwana. During most of the Ordovician, they have a peri-Iapetus distribution. They are very rare or absent in tropical Gondwana, South China and Kazakhstanian terranes and are not yet documented from Siberia. The trimerellides probably evolved in tropical peri-Gondwanan island arc settings. Their dispersion and major features of biogeography mirror those of atrypides.