Geology And Continental Drift

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RUNNING HEAD: CONTINENTAL DRIFT DISCUSSION Class Instructor Student The theory of Continental Drift was first hypothesized by Alfred Wegener, a meteorologist and geologist from Germany, was officially disclosed in 1912. Born in Berlin, in the 1880s he was not credited with the discovery until after his death. It was assumed that Continental Drift was impossible because there was no hard evidence to explain how the continents of the world could be separated. It would take a force of great magnitude to cause such an aggressive displacement of land mass. Wegener’s theory called Pangaea or “all earth” (Weil, 1997), proposed that the entire earth had at one time been one huge land mass. His reasoning was based on land semblance, meteorological conditions, and fossils from continents separated by oceans having similar characteristics (Weil, 1997). Fossils There was the knowledge of the exact same plant, (Glossopteris Fern) and animal (Lystrosaurus, reptile) fossils existing during the same era on continents such as India and Madagascar. The Glossopteris fern was also found on continents of Australia and Antartica, Antarctica and India, as well as South America and Africa (See Figure 1). Additionally, other animal fossils that shared continents were the Mesosaurus and Cynognathus from both South America and Africa (Figure 1). Couple that with the obvious understanding that the plants and animals did not traverse the oceans to populate these separate lands. Yet they existed at the same time in multiple locations. Continental Drift Evidence. Figure 1 (Watson. J. 1999). Meteorological Conditions The proof for Continental Drift later called Plate Tectonics in meteorology lies in the existence of plants and coral reefs requiring warmer temperatures to grow and flourish, existing in Antarctica and other colder regions (Wagner, 2008). Land Semblance There
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