The latest installment of Animated Life, a series of animations by Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck chronicling major scientific discoveries from inspiration to acceptance, is about Alfred Wegener and his then-controversial ideas about Pangea and continental drift.
Around 265 million years ago, much of the territory we now know as Texas was underwater, when the Earth's continents were combined into one vast landmass, Pangea, surrounded by ocean. The remnants of a huge reef from that distant era can still be seen today, as an 8,751-foot-tall mountain.
In this lovely new animation from TED-Ed, educator Michael Molina uses a pop-up book to explore the science of tectonic plates, the manner by which their shifting led to the breakup of the supercontinent of Pangea, and how their movement continues to affect the drift of Earth's continents.
Whoa, get a load of this thing. It’s called Bunostegos — a cow-sized pareiasaur that roamed an ancient desert of Pangea during the Upper Permian era. Its discovery suggests that a part of the supercontinent contained an ecosystem all its own.
Pretty wild, right? It's a map of Pangea — a supercontinent that formed roughly 300 million years ago — mapped with contemporary geopolitical borders.
Raging wildfires, acidified oceans and soaring temperatures likely caused a mass distinction 250 million years ago killing 95 percent of the Earth's marine life and 70 percent of terrestrial species.
Based on the way continents are currently drifting, this map shows what Earth will look like in 250 million years. One giant supercontinent.
Somewhere around 200 students and faculty gathered on a field at Stanford University last Saturday to re-enact half a billion years of plate tectonics. Costumed and organized in color-coded groups to represent the continents and oceans, the groups moved in sync to simulate Earth undergoing continental drift, complete…