Changes to the Earth and its atmosphere
Evidence for plate tectonics
So what was the evidence for Wegener's theory?
- Plate tectonics explained why earthquakes and volcanoes were concentrated in specific places - around the boundaries of moving plates.
- The match in shape between the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa suggests both were once part of a single continent. There are similar patterns of rocks and similar fossilsfossils: hardened remains or impressions of an organism that existed in the geological past on both sides of the Atlantic - including the fossil remains of land animals that would have been unable to swim across an ocean.
The animation shows how the original single continent - Pangaea - is thought to have broken up and drifted apart.
Earth around 200 million years ago, at the time of Pangaea