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What was the fossil that Eduard Suess discovered that helped validate his theory of...

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NicoleD20 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 29, 2013 at 9:05 PM via web

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What was the fossil that Eduard Suess discovered that helped validate his theory of continental drift?

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kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 29, 2013 at 9:31 PM (Answer #1)

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The fossil that the late Austrian geologist Eduard Suess (1831-1914) discovered that helped prove his theory of continental drift was from a fern that dated to the Carbonisferous period, and was labeled Glossopteris.  Suess’s research turned up samples of this particular fossil in Australia, South America, South Africa, and India.  The common characteristics of the samples of Glossopteris found in each location convinced him that they had to have once been part of a common landmass, which he called Gondwanaland.  Seuss’s research and analysis contributed greatly to the work of Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), whose The Origins of Continents and Oceans remains a classic of geological studies.  Wegener’s book, published soon after Seuss’s death, provided the most solid scientific foundation for their theories. 

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