What if someone could drive from New York to Europe? Such an
adventure might have been physically possible 300 million years ago,
when the Earth’s landscape looked entirely different.
Understanding the Tully’s ancient homeland and how it formed helps
to unveil the mystery behind the monster. The Tully Monster lived on this
ancestral Earth during the Paleozoic Era a time when the continents came
together to form one great supercontinent called Pangea (Greek for “all lands”).
photos courtesy of United
States Geological Survey
This was a time when the Atlantic Ocean, or any ocean for that matter, did not
separate North America and Europe. Scientists believe that separate continents did not even exist
then, but were combined into a single giant landmass.
Puzzle Pieces of Pangea
The Earth’s plates collided with each other to form a single landmass referred to as Pangea.
Dutch mapmaker Abraham Oretelius was the first to propose that the continents have moved. In
1596, he postulated that they were once joined together and that the Americas were later separated
from Europe and Africa by earthquakes and floods.
In the early 1900s, a German meteorologist named Alfred Wegener drew attention to the
coastlines of the different continents and how they neatly fit together like pieces of a
puzzle. For example, when looking at a modern world map it is possible to see how the
eastern tip of Brazil could fit into Africa’s Western coastline. Greenland could be
inserted between North America and Northwestern Europe. From that, it is possible to
imagine how North America and Eurasia could fit together with the southern mass of continents.
Of course, scientists of Wegener’s day did not jump to support this theory. In fact, his
theory did not receive the respect of other scientists until the 1960s.
Wegener pointed out that fossil remains of prehistoric animals such as the
Mesosaurus were found on Africa and South America.
Wegener set out to prove his theory using fossil remains of plants
and animals from various continents that may have once shared land.
Wegener discovered that fossil remains of prehistoric animals such
as the Mesosaurus, which could not have swum across
an ocean, were found on Africa and South America. He also noticed
that an uncommon, extinct plant was found in only a few parts of
the world, too far away to have spread its seed by wind or water.
Wegener decided to search for other geographical similarities that
would help prove his theory of Pangea. South America and Africa
have coastlines that line up, in addition to matching rock formations
on each continent. An ancient, folded South African mountain chain
links up with another ancient mountain chain in Argentina of the
same age and structure.
Scientists have also found parts of the Appalachian Mountains to be located in
North America, the British Isles, and Scandinavia, which are now separated by
the Atlantic Ocean. Scientists theorize that these mountain ranges were once one continuous belt.