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Hypothetical protocontinent proposed by Alfred Wegener in 1912 as part of his theory of continental drift. Pangea (from Greek: pangaia, all earth) supposedly covered about half the Earth and was completely surrounded by a world ocean called Panthalassa. Early in the Jurassic Period (approximately 200 million to 146 million years ago), Pangea began to break apart. Its segments, Laurasia (composed of all the present-day northern continents) and Gondwana (the present-day southern continents) gradually receded, resulting in the formation of the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Variants of PANGEA
Pangea or Pangaea
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Pangea, visit Britannica.com.
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