What's going on here?
The breakup of Pangaea is in full swing. Laurasia is moving northward, leaving its equatorial climates behind. As North and South America and Africa separate, the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic Ocean continue to widen.
Although the western states are still growing, North America is beginning to really taking on a more recognizable shape!
The breakup of the Pangaean supercontinent creates continent-sized islands, separated by wide seas. Species that once roamed across much of the supercontinent were isolated in relatively small populations. The dawn of the Mesozoic saw a wave of new species evolve as isolation facilitated adaptation to new environmental conditions.
Reconstructing ancient Earth
These remarkable figures are produced by C.R. Scotese and
the PALEOMAP project. Geologists
call these illustrations paleogeographic reconstructions,
because they illustrate the reconstructed geography of our Earth
at some time in the past.
Making a paleogeographic reconstruction begins by examining
several lines of evidence including: paleomagnetism, magnetic anomalies, paleobiogeography, paleoclimatology,
and geologic history. By combining all available evidence,
geologists are able to construct paleogeographic maps, such
as these, that interpret
how the geography might have appeared at a specific location
and time in the past. Paleogeographic maps are continually
being refined as more
evidence is collected.
To find out more about how paleogeographic reconstructions
are made visit the PALEOMAP project site.
Move forward or back in time.
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Time in millions of years. Jump back to visit any time!
Scotese, C. R., 1997. Paleogeographic Atlas, PALEOMAP Progress Report 90-0497, Department of Geology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, 37 pp.