Origins ANTARCTICA, Scientific Journeys from McMurdo to the Pole
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Mount Erebus
  Photo: NSF
  Mount Erebus.

When you think of Antarctica, you probably think of glaciers and penguins. But if you’d visited 200 million years ago, you would have found lush forests and dinosaurs. What happened?

Scientists believe that the Earth’s continents—Africa, Eurasia, Australia, North and South America, and Antarctica—were once part of a single, giant continent called Pangaea. According to the theory, the chunk of Pangaea this is now Antarctica was once at a much balmier latitude. As it drifted toward the pole, its climate cooled and the forests and wildlife gradually gave way to ice.

Follow this link for an interactive animation of how scientists think Pangaea broke up. You will need the Flash 5 Plugin to view this animation. Or see the non-Flash version.



Origins Exploratorium ANTARCTICA


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