Continental Drift Theory

Continental Drift Theory was put forward by the German scientist Alfred Wegner in 1915.

According to the Continental Drift Theory, part of the crust are capable of horizontal movement round the globe causing the continents to slowly change their positions in relation to one another.

The fact that South America is a mirror image of Africa is presented as a proof of the continental drift theory.

For hundreds of millions of years, all the land of Earth was joined together in one large mass or super continent. Scientists call it Pangaea (meaning “all lands” in Greek). Then about 200 million years ago the land began to drift apart. It broke into two pieces, and scientists have called the continent in the north Laurasia and the continent in the south Gondwanaland (named by Eduard Suess, an Austrian geologist).  The two large continents continued to break apart into the smaller continents that exist today. Scientists call this movement ‘continental drift’.

 

Continental drift fossil evidence. As noted by Snider-Pellegrini and Alfred Wegener, the locations of certain fossil plants and animals on present-day, widely separated continents would form definite patterns (shown by the bands of colors), if the continents are rejoined. Source: USGS.

Map of continental drift fossil evidence. As noted by Snider-Pellegrini and Alfred Wegener, the locations of certain fossil plants and animals on present-day, widely separated continents would form definite patterns (shown by the bands of colors), if the continents are rejoined. Source: USGS.