Connect the Continents game
January 18, 2013
A new interactive display inviting visitors to rebuild the supercontinent Gondwana opens on Saturday, January 19 in the Earthquake: Life on a Dynamic Planet exhibit. The goal: work together to re-assemble the familiar puzzle pieces of our modern Southern Hemisphere into their original configuration circa 200 million years ago.
Why 200 million years ago? At that time, the Earth’s surface was massed into a single supercontinent called Pangaea—an enormous landmass surrounded by a single ocean. This supercontinent broke apart into two smaller land masses—Laurasia in the Northern Hemisphere and Gondwana in the Southern Hemisphere, which in turn broke apart into the continents we know today.
To help puzzle assemblers along, plant and animal distribution ranges which trace back to the Gondwana era are shown on the puzzle pieces. Once assembled, you’ll see how it’s possible for pouched mammals in Australia like kangaroos to be related to South American opossums, despite the vast oceans separating the populations today.
Up to five people can collaborate, using iPad 3s to direct puzzle pieces at their fingertips to rotate and move across an 85-inch plasma screen for all to see.