CLIMATOLOGISTS – The study of climate
Wegener was born in Germany. He earned a doctorate degree in astronomy from the University of Berlin. However, his interests were redirected to the study of weather and climate.
One method used to study climates of the past is to look at the fossil record to determine what conditions existed when the fossilized organisms lived. As Wegener was browsing through scientific papers that listed fossils, he discovered that identical plants and animal were found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of these animals were too small to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. He also found plant & animal fossils that could not have grown or survived in what is now a frozen continent, Antarctica.
Fossils of warm weather plants and animals have been found across continents and in the colder regions of our globe.
Fossils of the same species have been found on the coastlines of continents separated by an ocean.
As he pondered this, he put the fossil information together with his observation that the Atlantic coasts of South America and Africa appeared to fit together as if it were a puzzle. He wondered if the continents had been joined together at one time. Wegener began to look for supporting evidence for this idea.
Past scientists noticed the edges of one continent could almost fit like a puzzle with the edges of another continent.