With the exception of Antarctica, Europe, and North America, extant onychophorans are found on all continents. The peripatids inhabit tropical America, and have also been found in tropical western Africa and southeastern Asia. Peri-patopsids are found in countries associated with the previously connected southern super-continent, Gondwana, such as Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand. Their present distribution is patchy. In the northern hemisphere, the Onychophora are now restricted to tropical and subtropical regions, although fossil evidence suggests that they were much more widespread throughout Pangaea. The ancestors of peripatus moved from the sea to the land more than 400 million years ago.
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