Surfin’ Safari: The Theory of Continental Drift
Name: _______________________________________________________________ Section: __________
Directions: Open the “Continental Drift” link on Ms. Kaiter’s website (homework
page), and answer the questions below based on information from that link.
1. What was Alfred Wegener’s middle name: _______________________________________
2. Where was Alfred Wegener born: ________________________________________________
3. What was the year of Wegener’s birth and death? ______________ ______________
4. As a school child, what did Wegener notice about the coastlines of the
Americas, Africa and Europe, and also Antarctica , India, and Australia?
5. What is the name of the famous book that Alfred Wegener wrote in 1910, in
which he first proposed his Theory of Continental Drift?
6. What was the name that Wegener gave to the supercontinent that later
broke up into the present day continents? Hint: Scientists now call that
supercontinent “Pangaea.”
7. Wegener was LAUGHED at when he first presented his Theory of Continental
Drift to his fellow scientists. He was unable to prove HOW a huge continent
can move. Which two (2) inventions would later help prove his theory?
____________________________________________ and ____________________________________________
8. Listen to the SONG about Alfred Wegener by opening the link under the
photo of the submarine. The song lyrics explain where Wegener died.
Where did he die? (He froze to death there during a blizzard.)
9. Open the link entitled, “Pangaea Name Game” under the image of the
cracked egg. Play the game and see if you can successfully find all major
continents on the green map of Pangaea.
>>> Could you find all of them? ( Circle one: YES or NO )
10. What are the names of the three (3) reptiles that Wegener found fossils of
on distant coastlines, which when you put the continents back together as
Pangaea, their habitat zones match up nicely?
_________________________________________ and _________________________________________
and _________________________________________
11. What is Glossopteris? __________________________________________________________
12. Decribe the “Pre-Wegener” explanation for fossil distribution on distant
coastlines below:
13. COAL is a substance made from tropical vegetation that has been buried
deep underground, and decays into a black, burnable rock.
>>>In which climate zone does coal form?_______________________________________
14. Analyze the map “Distribution of Glacial Deposits in Pangaea” and list
three (3) places in the world today where there are glacial deposits in places
where you would not expect to find glacial deposits:
___________________________________________ and _______________________________________
and __________________________________________
15. Look at the link above the image of a hand. What is the name of the future
supercontinent that will exist 250 million years from now?
(“Donut-opia” or “Bagel-lica” may be a better choice of a name.)
16. Click and open the link showing a map of the future supercontinent.
Describe where you would like to live on the future supercontinent below:
17. Look at the image of the hand and fingernails. What is the average rate of
plate motion, which is equal to the average rate of fingernail growth?
___________________ cm / year
18. What are the names of the two (2) major bodies of water that existed
during the days of Pangaea?
______________________________________________ and ____________________________________________
19. Around 200 million years ago, during the Triassic period, Pangaea started
to break apart into two (2) separate pieces, which were called:
L ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ and G ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
20. What is the name of the past Supercontinent that existed on Earth around
850 million years ago?
21. Alfred Wegener died never knowing WHY continents drift. The new and
improved Theory of Plate Tectonics explains why plates move. What are
the two (2) main causes of crustal plate movement?
A) ______________________________________________________________________________________
B) _______________________________________________________________________________________