Gondwana

Gondwana ( /ɡɒndˈwɑːnə/)[1] or Gondwanaland[2] was a supercontinent that existed from the Neoproterozoic (about 550 million years ago) and began to break up during the Jurassic (about 180 million years ago), with the final stages of breakup, including the opening of the Drake Passage separating South America and Antarctica occurring during the Paleogene. Gondwana was not considered a supercontinent by the earliest definition, since the landmasses of Baltica, Laurentia, and Siberia were separated from it.[3]

Gondwana 420 million years ago. View centred on the South Pole.

It was formed by the accretion of several cratons. Eventually, Gondwana became the largest piece of continental crust of the Paleozoic Era, covering an area of about 100,000,000 km2 (39,000,000 sq mi),[4] about one-fifth of the Earth's surface. During the Carboniferous Period, it merged with Euramerica to form a larger supercontinent called Pangaea. Gondwana (and Pangaea) gradually broke up during the Mesozoic Era. The remnants of Gondwana make up around two-thirds of today's continental area, including South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, the Indian Subcontinent, Zealandia, and Arabia.

The formation of Gondwana began c. 800 to 650 Ma with the East African Orogeny, the collision of India and Madagascar with East Africa, and was completed c. 600 to 530 Ma with the overlapping Brasiliano and Kuunga orogenies, the collision of South America with Africa, and the addition of Australia and Antarctica, respectively.[5]

Regions that were part of Gondwana have shared floral and zoological elements that persist to the present day.