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Transcript of Alfred Wegener
7th Grade General
an uncanny congruence (
in the shape
of South America's east coast and Africa's west coast
It appeared as if
's West Coast
Like South America and Africa had been ripped apart
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
He concluded that
plants and animals existed
on distant continents
because land bridges connected them, but because the continents themselves were once connected.
He named this one, large continent
For years, Wegener collected evidence for his theory of continental drift
in 1915 in t
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.
the west coast of
the east coast of
South America showed glacial
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.