1.3 Drifting Continents


Pangea: means "all lands" or that all continents were together
continental drift: moving of the continents apart
fossil: a trace of an ancient organism that has been preserved in rock



  • Africa and South America look like jigsaw puzzle pieces that could fit together

The Theory of Continental Drift

  • 1910 Alfred Wegner
    • hypothesis that was that the continents were once combined together and made up a super continent called Pangaea
      • he thought this happened over 300 million years ago
      • he wrote a book called The Origin of Continents and Oceans published in 1915

Evidence from Landforms

  • Mountains lined up in south Africa and Argentina
  • European coal fields were similar to the ones in North America

Evidence from Fossils

  • found same reptile fossils and same plant fossils such as ferns around the world

Evidence from Climate

  • Current places in the world have very different climate
    • hot places had rock scratches that could only have been made by glaciers

Scientists Reject Wegner's Theory

  • Wegner didn't have a good reason why the continental drift happened or separated

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