According to the continental drift theory, the supercontinent Pangaea began to break up about 225-200 million years ago, eventually fragmenting into the continents as we know them today. The theory was based in part on what appeared to be the remarkable fit of the South American and African continents, and the occurrences of unusual geologic structures and of plant and animal fossils found on the matching coastlines of South America and Africa, which are separated by the Atlantic Ocean; It also helped explain evidence of dramatic climate changes on some continents, i.e. the discovery of fossils of tropical plants and glacial deposits in present-day Africa. This theory was the precursor to the theory of plate tectonics
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