Thursday, January 24, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

New fossil find prompts Pangaea split rethink


Posted on Thursday, 24 May, 2018 | Comment icon 6 comments

The continents were arranged very differently in Earth's past. Image Credit: NASA / Terry Virts
A new fossil discovery has revealed that the early supercontinent split more slowly than previously believed.
From around 335 to 175 million years ago, there was only a single land mass - Pangaea - a veritable super-continent situated in the southern hemisphere and surrounded by a superocean, Panthalassa.

According to the continental drift hypothesis, Pangaea began to break up between 200 and 225 million years ago, but now this latest fossil discovery has pushed this event back a further 15 million years.

Discovered in eastern Utah, the fossil itself is that of a small mammal named Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch. It was the size of a hare which at the time made it something of a giant.

"The skull of Cifelliodon is an extremely rare find in a vast fossil-bearing region of the Western Interior, where the more than 150 species of mammals and reptile-like mammal precursors are represented mostly by isolated teeth and jaws," said study co-author James Kirkland.

The discovery has helped to change our understanding of how early mammals evolved.

"For a long time, we thought early mammals from the Cretaceous (145 to 66 million years ago) were anatomically similar and not ecologically diverse," said lead author Adam Huttenlocker.

"This finding by our team and others reinforce that, even before the rise of modern mammals, ancient relatives of mammals were exploring specialty niches: insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, swimmers, gliders. Basically, they were occupying a variety of niches that we see them occupy today."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (6)

Tags: Pangea

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taun on 24 May, 2018, 11:43
I wonder what the landmass looked like prior to Pangaea... Was it separate land masses that drifted together and then over time apart again, or did continental drift begin then? And if it began then, why?
Comment icon #2 Posted by third_eye on 24 May, 2018, 11:45
The Continents were practicing the hokey pokey ... ~
Comment icon #3 Posted by Essan on 24 May, 2018, 12:05
It was seperate landmasses that joined to form a super-continent.   They had previous split from an earlier super-continent.  And before that another ..... The very first super-continent - where it all began 2,400,000,000 years ago - is called Kenorlandhttps://www.rdmag.com/news/2018/05/land-rising-above-sea-24-billion-years-ago-changed-planet-earth  
Comment icon #4 Posted by paperdyer on 24 May, 2018, 13:59
Wasn't part of the split/drift due to the Earth still cooling causing the shift in the plates?
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 24 May, 2018, 21:36
"Pangaea - a veritable super-continent situated in the southern hemisphere and surrounded by a superocean, Panthalassa" Huh. I didn't know the surrounding superocean had been given a specific name. Now I do.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Tom the Photon on 25 May, 2018, 10:39
Geologists believe the continents have been drifting together and apart throughout history.  They can model the current movement and look for clues such as fossils and minerals along plate edges.  It's the most likely reason why some areas have a huge range of rock-types in close proximity. Extrapolating backwards is extremely difficult but effectively its a giant jigsaw puzzle with lots of different pictures to assemble and loads of missing pieces.   We know earthquakes occur at plate margins as they collide and release vast amounts of energy.  The ring of fire around the Pacific is the obvio... [More]


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6378551
269368
178830

 
 Spirituality vs Skepticism
  Why do people believe the bible?
  Skepticism!
  Urantia Book Poll
 Extraterrestrial Life & The UFO Phenomenon
  Personal UFO Encounter
  Secret Pentagon research projects revealed
  Travis Walton.
Black hole radio jet 'pointed directly at Earth'
1-23-2019
The supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way seems to be pointing a radio jet directly towards us.
Secret Pentagon research projects revealed
1-23-2019
A newly declassified list of top secret US government projects reads like something out of an X-Files episode.
Eels 'hyperactive' due to cocaine in the Thames
1-22-2019
According to a report, excessive drug use in London may be having an adverse effect on some of the local wildlife.
Steam-powered space probe could work forever
1-22-2019
Scientists have developed a prototype for a steam-powered spacecraft that can refuel itself with water.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Round Earth vs flat Earth
Posted 1-18-2019 | 4 comments
Why do some people believe that the Earth is as flat as a pancake?
 
Which is correct - math or maths ?
Posted 1-10-2019 | 2 comments
For years, there has been some confusion over the shorthand of the word 'mathematics'.
 
How fast does glass crack ?
Posted 12-31-2018 | 5 comments
The Slo Mo Guys attempt another intriguing slow motion experiment in their back yard.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Johannesburg Men in Black
1-2-2019 | Johannesburg South Africa
 
Giant flash of light
1-2-2019 | Pomona, California
 
Terrifying unexplained screams
1-2-2019 | Dorion, Ontario, Canada
 
My name is whispered
11-9-2018 | Wish not to disclose
 
Strange numbers on arm
11-9-2018 | Charlotte, NC
 
Two experiences
10-31-2018 | Pryor, OK
 
Various experiences
10-31-2018 | Californiia
 
A transparent figure
10-31-2018 | Nigeria
 
My childhood haunting
10-29-2018 | Cincinnati, Ohio
 
Orange, hovering, atom-like figure
10-25-2018 | West kelowna
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ