Continental Drift has affected the world in so many different kinds of ways. Its hard to imagine. Continental Drift has
affected the evolution of animals, the worlds geographical positions and the world's climates. There are also many horrendous
effects of continental drifts, like Earthquakes and Tsunamis.
Originally all of the world's surface land was located in one region on the globe, Pangea. Then Pangea split apart in
the Triassic Period (245 to 208 million years ago) into a southern landmass,Gondwanaland, and the northern landmass Laurasia.
By the end of the Cretaceous period, Continents split again into land masses that look like present day continents.
The theory of plate tectonics explain how the earth's crust moves. It was developed in the late 1960's. This theory explains
the movement of the Earth's plates (which has since been documented scientifically) and also explains the cause of earthquakes,
volcanoes, oceanic trenches, mountain range formation, and other geologic phenomenon. More on this in the Plate Tectonics
Effects Of Continental Drift On Climate
Continental drift effects the earths climate mainly because of three factors. Net poleward movement, antarctic cooling and
changing ocean currents. For example, the waters around New Zealand's south island cooled from 20° at the beginning of the
Eocene about 53 million years ago, to about 17° C during 30-14 Ma BP, then cooling to the present 12° C.
Click here for diagrams explaining this theory.
Effects Of Continental Drift On The Evolution Of Animals
The rearrangement and displacement of huge landmasses has helped create the diversity which we see present in modern day animals.
Without these effects, the life present on earth today would have been very different. The earth is filled with so many
different types of creatures. We can say, that "Speciation" led to this amazing diversity. Speciation is a phenomenon
that normally takes place when a group of animals of the same species find themselves isolated from one another. Isolation
can occur geographically by great distances, rising mountains or large bodies of water. They can also occur from biological
or behavioral barriers.
One species is distinguished from another by their inability to create viable offspring together, and this is the precise
effect that isolation can have on an animal species. Once a group of animals of the same species becomes split apart or isolated,they
begin to be changed, molded and fashioned by the hand of natural selection to more properly fit in with their surroundings.
After a period of time these two groups begin to be so different anatomically and genetically that soon it becomes impossible
for them to procreate. This inability for two animals, that were once the same species, to create viable offspring is called
The evidence for this theory is provided for you in the evidence section of my website.