Gondwanaland


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Gondwanaland

(ɡɒndˈwɑːnəˌlænd) or

Gondwana

n
(Geological Science) one of the two ancient supercontinents produced by the first split of the even larger supercontinent Pangaea about 200 million years ago, comprising chiefly what are now Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, and the Indian subcontinent
[C19: from Gondwana region in central north India, where the rock series was originally found]

Gond·wa·na·land

(gŏnd-wä′nə-lănd′)
A supercontinent of the Southern Hemisphere comprising the landmasses that currently correspond to India, Australia, Antarctica, and South America. According to the theory of plate tectonics, Gondwanaland formed at the end of the Precambrian Eon and broke up in the middle of the Mesozoic Era. Compare Laurasia.
Did You Know? Sometimes a suggested solution to a scientific problem can raise more questions than it answers. So it was with Austrian geologist Eduard Suess's hypothesis explaining why identical groups of fossil plants occur in India, South America, southern Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. These plants, known as the Glossopteris flora, had seeds that were too large to have blown across wide oceans. In 1885 Suess proposed that the plant fossils were common to all of the landmasses because the landmasses were actually connected when the plants first developed, eventually breaking apart into separate continents. Suess named this huge landmass Gondwanaland, after a region of central India called Gondwana. Few believed Suess's idea because most people could not see what would cause such a giant supercontinent to break apart. In the early 1900s, Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, noticed other kinds of evidence for Gondwanaland, including similarities in animal fossils, rock types, and marks left by glaciers across the continents of the Southern Hemisphere. Wegener used this evidence to propose the idea of continental drift, which says that the continents are always moving toward or away from one another. But it wasn't until the 1960s that Wegener's ideas or the concept of Gondwanaland were finally accepted, when the theory of plate tectonics was put forward to explain how the internal workings of the Earth could cause continents to move about.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Gondwanaland - a hypothetical continent that (according to plate tectonic theory) broke up later into India and Australia and Africa and South America and Antarctica
southern hemisphere - the hemisphere to the south of the equator
References in periodicals archive ?
When New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwanaland 85 million years ago, predatory mammals had not evolved, and birds thrived.
Jan 21-Feb 19 AQUARIUS AS Aquarius is even further away, messages take a bit longer to get here - in fact, the stars there think we should definitely vote to leave Pangea and give Gondwanaland a try.
On the basis of probable botanical affinities of recovered palynomorphs, it can be tentatively concluded that there was a great diversity of plants in the Gondwanaland during the Early Permian period.
Therefore, monotremes and marsupials are obviously not united in a single phylogenetic lineage but both taxa are also connected by their distribution pattern, testifying their Gondwanaland roots.
This supercontinent was called Gondwanaland, after Central India's Gonds--aboriginal "hill people.
The property's flora is a relic of Gondwanaland and provides an important component to the scientific understanding of continental drift and an outstanding site for the study of the processes of biological evolution.
Trilobite evidence for Gondwanaland in east Asia during the Ordovician.
On the other hand, a low-velocity zone is also present, for a similar depth range, in the mantle of the continents: South America (Corchete, 2012), Antarctica (Corchete, 2013a) and Africa (Corchete, 2013b), which were part of the same super-continent Gondwanaland (Supplement 7), in the early Mesozoic before fragmentation.
Permo-Carboniferous (250 million years to 350 million years ago) Gondwanan sediments are well-distributed in the Indian subcontinent, South Africa, Australia, Antarctica and South America, bearing proof that the southern continents were once united in the form of Gondwanaland.
He theorised the kiwi bird could have been in New Zealand since the land separated from Gondwanaland some 60 million years ago.
Earlier work on the global distribution of bamboos has shown that bamboos evolved in the southern hemisphere on a landmass called Gondwanaland, parts of which spread apart to form South America, Africa and Asia when it broke up as a result of continental drift, the slow movement of tectonic plates on the earth's surface.