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Pangea Reading with Quiz (1)

About 250 million years ago, scientists believe the seven continents of the world
were connected into one supercontinent known as ​Pangaea​. The East coast of South
America seems to fit perfectly like a puzzle piece into the Western coast of Africa. And if
North America could be slightly rotated, it would comfortably fit next to Europe and
Ancient fossil records show that the same animals and plants once lived along the
Eastern coast of South America, as did along the Western coast of Africa. The same
plants and animals also lived along the coasts of Europe and North America.
During the millions of years that followed the connection of all the continents, they
began to break apart and slowly drift away from one another. The drift of the
continents continues today and in the future, the location of the continents will once
again change.
The meaning of the word Pangaea comes from the Ancient Greeks and means 'all
land'. The supercontinent existed at the time of the dinosaurs. The crashing together of
the continents resulted in the formation of many mountain ranges across the planet.
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.
The supercontinent was shaped like a giant letter C, and it spread across the equator
and extended from the North to the South Pole, meaning a person could walk from pole
to pole without stepping into the ocean. The formation began about 540 million years
ago during the late Cambrian time period and then finished about 200 to 250 million
years ago during the Triassic period. Scientists believe Pangaea's climate was much
drier and hotter than it is currently.
In the beginning, life did exist, but it was not the same as today. Most of life
included single-celled organisms like bacteria. By the time Pangaea completed its
formation during the Triassic period, life flourished in the oceans and spread from water
to the land. The first dinosaurs also evolved during the Triassic period, and because
there was just one giant piece of land, scientists found the fossils of the same Triassic
animals and plants on every continent. The break-up of the continents, as they are
today, began during the middle of the Jurassic time period about 175 million years ago.
It was at this time when many well-known dinosaurs existed.
The first phase of the Pangaea's break-up resulted into supercontinents ​Laurasia
and ​Gondwana​ before each of these large continents eventually broke into the current
continents of today and a new ocean was formed, the North Atlantic Ocean.
The second phase began when Gondwana separated into Africa, South America,
India, Antarctica, and Australia during the Lower Cretaceous period about 150 million
years ago.
Finally, the third and final phase of the break-up occurred in the early Cenozoic
period. About 60 million years ago. Laurasia split when North America and Greenland
(also called Laurentia) broke free from Eurasia, opening the Norwegian Sea. The
Atlantic and Indian Oceans continued to expand. The break-up of Pangaea continues
today in the Great Rift Valley in East Africa and Arabia.
1) Which of the following is the meaning of the Greek word Pangaea?
A:​ All land
B:​ Land parts
C:​ Fitted land
D:​ Connected land
2) If plant and animal fossils were found on the coast of North America, where else
would they be found?
A:​ Along the eastern coast of Africa
B:​ Along the western coast of Africa
C:​ Along the coast of Europe
D:​ All the above
3) Most life that existed during the beginning of Pangaea included which of the
A:​ Mammals
B:​ Humans
C:​ Single-celled organisms
D:​ All the above
4) The first phase of the Pangaea's break-up resulted into which of the following
A:​ Laurasia
B:​ Godwana
C:​ Neither A or B
D:​ Both A and B
5) Which of the following periods occurred about 150 million years ago?
A:​ Lower Cretaceous
B:​ Cambrian
C:​ Triassic
D:​ Cenozoic
6) Which of the following is the location of the Appalachian Mountains?
A:​ Europe
B:​ North America
C:​ Africa
D:​ Asia