Pangaea - Earth History


The scientific task is to explain with a strong visual impact the relationships between the ancient supercontinent called Pangaea and the present world continents with their countries and cities


Western Interior Seaway (90 Ma): New oceans begin to open. During the Cretaceous the South Atlantic Ocean opened. India separated from Madagascar and raced northward on a collision course with Eurasia. Notice that North America was connected to Europe, and that Australia was still joined to Antarctica.


Cretaceous (140 Ma): Pangaea rifts apart. The supercontinent of Pangea began to break apart in the Middle Jurassic. In the Late Jurassic the Central Atlantic Ocean was a narrow ocean separating Africa from eastern North America. Eastern Gondwana had begun to separate form Western Gondwana.


Jurassic (190 Ma): Early Jurassic dinosaurs spread across Pangea. By the Early Jurassic, south-central Asia had assembled. A wide Tethys ocean separated the northern continents from Gondwana. Though Pangea was intact, the first rumblings of continental break up could be heard.


Triassic (230 Ma): At the end of the Triassic Pangea began to rift apart. The supercontinent of Pangea, mostly assembled by the Triassic, allowed land animals to migrate from the South Pole to the North Pole. Life began to rediversify after the great Permo-Triassic extinction and warm-water faunas spread across Tethys.




Permian (300 Ma): Late Carboniferous was a time of great coal swamps. By the Late Carboniferous the continents that make up modern North America and Europe had collided with the southern continents of Gondwana to form the western half of Pangea. Ice covered much of the southern hemisphere and vast coal swamps formed along the equator.

Early Carboniferous (325 Ma): During the Early Carboniferous Pangaea begins to form. The Paleozoic oceans between Euramerica and Gondwana began to close, forming the Appalachian and Variscan mountains. An ice cap grew at the South Pole as four-legged vertebrates evolved in the coal swamps near the Equator.

Select one of the times from the list below and travel through time and check out what the Earth looked liked in the far distant past.

At each stop there is more information about each geological time period.

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Pangaea Classroom Activity

Exploring the Ancient World of Pangaea
Exploring the Ancient World of Pangaea Answer Key

Curriculum Standards

Exploring the Ancient World of Pangaea



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