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Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics

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2.2.4 Palaeontological evidence

Palaeontological remains of fossil plants and animals are amongst the most compelling evidence for continental drift. In many instances, similar fossil assemblages are preserved in rocks of the same age in different continents; the most famous of these assemblages is the so-called Glossopteris flora. This flora marks a change in environmental conditions. In the southern continents, the Permian glacial deposits were succeeded by beds containing flora that was distinct from that which had developed in the climatically warm, northern land masses of Laurasia. The new southern flora grew under cold, wet conditions, and was characterised by the ferns Glossopteris and Gangamopteris, the former giving its name to the general floral assemblage. Today, this readily identifiable flora is preserved only in the Permian deposits of the now widely separated fragments of Gondwana.