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Alfred Wegener, a German scientist, wrote “Doesn’t the east coast of South America fit into the west coast of Africa, as if they had once been joined? This is an idea I’ll have to pursue.”
Wegener presented his hypothesis two years later. It sated that a very long time ago, the continents were all part of one big supercontinent he called Pangaea.
Alfred Wegener was the first scientist to gather information and evidence on Pangaea.
The Breakup of Pangaea. The continents didn’t break apart over night, but over millions of years. The picture to the right shows how the continents drifted away from each other over the eras .
Fossils of plants and animals were found on different continents on the opposite sides of the ocean.
The fossils found on one continent were identical to fossils scientist found on another continent on the opposing side of the ocean.
Whatever the fossils were, they could not have traveled across vast oceans like the ones they would’ve had to cross.
For example, there were fossils found in South America identical to the ones found in Africa. Whatever the fossils were would have had to swim across the Atlantic Ocean, so imagine a land animal we see today like a lizard, swimming across the Atlantic Ocean, it’s not very likely that it would make it.
Fossils that were found: Glossopteris, Mesosaurus
Scientist noticed that when they put the continents together, landforms on different continents matched.
The mountains that run west across South Africa lined up with the mountains in Argentina.
In South Africa, unusual coal deposits and rock formations were the exact same as rock formations and coal deposits in Brazil.
The highlands of Scotland matched the Appalachian Mountains in the Eastern United States.
The continents look like they are scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, if you moved them around, you would be able to fit them together perfectly.
The most obvious to spot is how the east side of South America fits into the west coast of Africa.
Some islands are easy to fit together
Striations were found on the coast of both South America and South Africa, the Striations left by glaciers formed patterns, which are identical to one another.
Deposits left by glaciers during an ice age were found. Wegener found that, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctica all fit around the South Pole, where there would have been extremely low temperatures.
Coal Mountains Glossopteris Mesosaurus
Thank you for listening to my presentation on the theory of Pangaea.