Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At one time, during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, it is thought that all the continents were connected to form one large “supercontinent” that was called Pangaea. The name is fitting because in the Greek language “pan” means “entire” and “Gaia” means “mother Earth or land”. This theory was...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

At one time, during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, it is thought that all the continents were connected to form one large “supercontinent” that was called Pangaea. The name is fitting because in the Greek language “pan” means “entire” and “Gaia” means “mother Earth or land”. This theory was created by Alfred Wegner’s book entitled The Origin of Continents in 1912. Over time, Pangea is thought to have split into the continents of today due to continental drift and plate tectonics.

The theory of Pangea is supported by the following concepts.

1. Fossils

Similar and/or identical fossils are found on continents that are located on separate hemispheres of the Earth.

2. Rock formations

Continents of today that are located on opposite sides of the Earth have rock formations that share similar rock types, strata, and ages.

3. Shapes of the continents

The shapes of the continents fit into one another like the pieces of a puzzle that have been broken apart.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team