Geography Oceanography, and Weather

Plate Tectonics

What did the continents look like in the past?

Because of the movement of the lithospheric plates, the continents’ positions have changed over time. For example, some scientists believe that about 700 million 1 years ago a huge continent called Rodinia formed around the equator; about 500 million years ago, the continent broke apart, forming Laurasia (today’s North America and Eurasia) and Gondwana (or Gondwanaland; today’s South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and India). Then, about 250 million years ago, the continents were once again together in one massive supercontinent called Pangea (or Pangaea, translated as “all land”). Eventually, the huge continent began to break up, forming Laurasia and Gondwana again.


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