The Caribbean region is tectonically one of the most complicated on Earth, as evidenced by some 13 'mobilist' models that have been proposed to explain its geohistory. Some consensus is developing around one recent model that places a Cretaceous volcanic arc of islands in the eastern Pacific that moved 1000 km between the portal formed as North and South America moved apart. The principal difference between this version and older models is that the land forming the proto-Antilles originated as islands and was never a continuous or near-continuous land bridge connecting or nearly connecting the continents. There is also uncertainty about the emergent-submergent history of the individual land fragments. The arc began colliding with the Bahamas Platform in about the middle Eocene (49 Ma), and that probably began the principal period of emergence for the Greater Antilles. The collision was at an angle (transpression) toward the east with Puerto Rico emerging last in the middle Oliogcene (29 Ma). The Lesser Antilles are middle to late Eocene in age. Among recent contributions to Caribbean biohistory are a study of the middle Eocene Saramaguacan flora of Cuba, proposal of a connection (a 'landspan') between North and South America via the Antilles 35-32 Ma involving an emergent Aves Ridge, and continuing assessment of vicariance and dispersal as means of distribution of plants and animals in the Caribbean region.

Key words: Caribbean, geology, paleobotany