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pangaea-cc-reading

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Common Core Reading
Pangaea
Looking'at'a'globe'reveals'coincidences'that'are'
difficult'to'ignore.'The'Eastern'coast'of'South'
America'seems'to'fit'perfectly,'almost'like'a'puzzle,'
into'the'Western'coast'of'Africa.'At'the'same'time,'
North'America'can'be'rotated'slightly,'and'made'to'
fit'comfortably'next'to'Europe,'and'Asia.''
These'clues'have'lead'geologists'and'other'
scientists'to'examine'the'relationships'of'other'
clues.'Ancient'fossil'records'show'that'the'same'
plants'and'animals'lived'along'the'Eastern'coast'of'
South'America,'as'did'along'the'Western'coast'of'Africa,'as'did'other'places.''With'this'
over'whelming'evidence,'it'became'clear'that'at'some'point'many'millions'of'years'ago,'
these'continents'must'have'in'fact'been'connected.''
Scientists'now'believe'that'about'250'million'years'ago,'a'supercontinent'known'as'
Pangaea'existed.'This'supercontinent'was'made'up'of'all'the'continents'on'Earth.'Over'
time,'these'continents'have'broken'apart,'and'slowly'drifted'away'from'one'another.'
This'drift'continues'today,'so'that'the'form'the'Earth'takes'today'is'not'by'any'means'
the'final'shape'of'our'Earth.''
Pangaea'was'a'supercontinent'that'existed'at'the'time'of'the'Dinosaurs.'The'word'
Pangaea'comes'from'an'ancient'Greek'word'meaning'“all'lands.”'Pangaea'was'created'
when'all'the'continents'we'know'today'smashed'together'like'some'giant'car'wreck.'
This'crashing'together'was'not'a'gentle'process.'The'Appalachian'Mountains'in'North'
America'and'the'Ural'Mountains'on'the'boundary'of'Europe'and'Asia'are'the'results'of'
some'of'these'collisions.'That's'right'O'the'continents'smashed'together'hard'enough'to'
form'mountains!'Pangaea'was'shaped'like'a'giant'letter'C.'It'sprawled'across'the'
equator'and'extended'from'the'North'Pole'to'the'South'Pole.'If'you'lived'at'the'time'of'
Pangaea,'you'could'walk'from'the'North'Pole'to'the'South'Pole'without'getting'your'
feet'wet...'well,'unless'you'had'to'wade'in'a'river'or'something.'
Pangaea'started'to'form'about'540'million'years'ago'in'the'late'Cambrian'time'period.'It'
didn't'finish'forming'until'the'Triassic'period'approximately'200O250'million'years'ago.'
Because'all'the'land'was'in'one'big'mass,'the'scientists'believe'that'the'climate'of'
Pangaea'was'much'drier'and'hotter'than'it'is'now.'
Pangaea'started'to'break'up'into'the'continents'that'we'know'now'during'the'middle'
of'the'Jurassic'time'period,'about'175'million'years'ago.'Have'you'ever'noticed'that'the'
east'coast'of'South'America'and'the'west'coast'of'Africa'look'like'they'could'fit'
together'like'a'giant'jig'saw'puzzle?'That's'because'they'used'to'be'stuck'together.'It's'
'''
harder'to'see'but,'if'you'look'at'the'North'American'Continent'and'Greenland'you'can'
see'that'they'look'like'puzzle'pieces,'too.'At'one'point'North'America,'Greenland'and'
Europe'were'all'connected;'because'North'America'and'Europe'were'connected,'you'
can'find'the'same'rock'formations'in'New'York'and'in'Scotland.'
Geologists'call'the'process'of'breaking'up'rifting.'Rifting'happens'when'two'tectonic'
plates'move'apart'on'what'geologists'call'a'divergent'plate'boundary.'That's'how'
scientists'talk.'Here's'how'it'works.'The'Earth's'crust'is'not'a'single'piece'but'is'broken'
up'into'several'pieces'called'plates.'These'plates'float'like'giant'rafts'on'a'sea'of'melted'
rock'called'the'mantle.'At'some'places'the'plates'crash'into'each'other'and'one'plate'is'
shoved'under'the'other'and'starts'to'melt.'This'kind'of'boundary'is'called'a'convergent'
boundary.'In'other'places'the'plates'are'forced'apart'when'melted'rock'flows'up'from'
the'mantle'and'cools'forming'new'crust.'This'type'of'boundary'is'called'a'divergent'
boundary.'As'the'continents'move'far'enough'apart,'the'water'from'the'ocean'flows'in'
to'fill'up'the'space.'This'process'happens'very'slowly'as'the'tectonic'plates'only'move'
from'0'to'100mm'(0'to'3.9'inches)'per'year.'
The'rifting'of'Pangaea'started'with'North'America'and'Africa,'and'rifting'continues'on'
the'east'side'of'Africa'near'the'Red'Sea'in'an'area'called'the'Great'Rift'Valley.'The'land'
mass'that'would'become'North'America'was'twisted'so'that'the'Mississippi'River'Valley'
would'have'been'running'east'to'west,'not'north'and'south.''In'fact,'the'Mississippi'
River'Valley'is'the'result'of'a'failed'rift.''When'North'America'finally'rifted'away'from'
Africa,'it'formed'the'beginning'of'what'is'now'the'Atlantic'Ocean.'At'the'same'time,'rifts'
were'forming'between'Africa,'Antarctica'and'Australia,'forming'the'start'of'the'Indian'
Ocean.'The'Cretaceous'period'was'when'North'America'and'Europe'rifted'apart.''The'
continents'wouldn't'reach'their'current'arrangement'until'35'million'years'ago'when'
India'crashed'into'Asia'forming'the'Himalayan'Mountains.''
1. What'is'the'author’s'purpose?''Use'evidence'from'the'article'to'prove'your'point.'
(ANALYSIS'RI'8.6)'
2. What'does'the'word'Pangaea'mean'(Knowledge,'RI'8.1)?'
3. Is'the'theory'of'Pangaea'believable?''Use'evidence'from'the'article'to'prove'your'
point.''(Evaluation'RI'8.2,RI'8.8)'
4. Summarize'the'this'article'in'8'sentences'OR'write'at'least'10'facts'your'read'from'
it.'(ANALYSIS'RI'8.1,''RI'8.2)'
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