Pangea means "all lands" in Greek
. And guess what -that's exactly what it was. Its the name given to the huge land mass when all of the continents
were connected. But, about 180 million years ago, this "supercontinent" began to break up due to continental drift
. Over the ages, Pangea has evolved into the seven continents we know of today. Some questions have arisen questioning the existence of Pangea - here's a brief explanation .
Land Animals and Vegetation
The same fossils and plants appear on different continents, across vast oceans. One might be inclined to ask "How did they get there?" Well, as it turns out, if one makes the assumption that the land was, at one time, connected, animals could have simply walked from place to place - there was no need to swim. for instance the mesosaurus (a land anima;) could not have possibly traveled from South America to Africa by swimming. Yet, there are fossils of the animal on both continents.
The Glossopteris (a tree), is found in South America, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica. It doesn't seem possible for seeds to have traveled to so many continents.
The Appalachian Mountains are found in North America as well as the British Isle and Scandinavia (now separated by the Atlantic Ocean). the mountains are of the same age and structure. Plus, if you were to fit them together, they would form a continuous belt.
Since the Southern Hemisphere was once by Antartica and the Northern Hemisphere was once by the equator, the climates were different from those that we know today. There is evidence that ice sheets once covered the Southern Hemisphere which is now an equatorial region. Further evidence also suggests that large tropical swamps once existed in the Northern Hemisphere. If one makes the assumption that the temperature of the Earth has not changed all that much, then one is led to assume that the location of the continents has.