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Alfred Wegener

7th Grade General
by

Shannon Hildesheim

on 27 January 2016

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Transcript of Alfred Wegener

Alfred Wegener
7th Grade General
1880-1930
Alfred Wegener


Noticed
an uncanny congruence (
match
)
in the shape
of South America's east coast and Africa's west coast
.
It appeared as if
South America

fit snugly

into Africa
's West Coast
Like South America and Africa had been ripped apart
Wegener found

research
that paleontologists had used to support their conclusion that a land bridge had once connected Africa and South America.
This discovery was all the inspiration Wegener needed.
Just four months later, he presented his theory of
continental drift
He concluded that
identical fossilized
plants and animals existed
on distant continents
Not
because land bridges connected them, but because the continents themselves were once connected.
He named this one, large continent
Pangaea
.
For years, Wegener collected evidence for his theory of continental drift
He
published
in 1915 in t
he book
The Origin of Continents and Oceans.

Of the many patterns he presented, Wegener showed that Europe and North America, like Africa and South America, had fossilized plants and animals in common.
Rocks along
the west coast of
Africa

and
the east coast of
South America showed glacial

scraping
patterns that were similar to each other — on continents that couldn't possibly have glaciers now.
In Wegener's mind, this evidence supported the theory of continental drift irrefutably.
Most other scientists in the field disagreed
As interesting as Wegener's evidence was, it did not explain what might cause continents to move around Earth's surface.
Wegener proposed two possible explanations:
The 1st suggested that centrifugal force caused by Earth's rotation might be responsible
The 2nd suggested gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon might have broken up and moved the continents.
Both of these explanations were quickly dismissed
because the forces Wegener proposed were not nearly strong enough to move continents.
Full transcript