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Gondwana, sometimes called Gondwanaland, was a supercontinent that formed by Late Cambrian time in the southern hemisphere and consisted present-day Africa, Antarctica, Australia, India, and South America. Fossils of terrestrial plants and animals incapable of crossing large expanses of ocean are found in Paleozoic rocks in these now widely separated continents, demonstrating, along with other physical evidence, that the southern continents were once one large landmass. By the end of the Paleozoic, in the Permian Period, Gondwana had merged with the northern continent of Laurentia (present-day North America) and other northern continental masses to form the supercontinent of Pangea. Pangea began to break apart in the Mesozoic.

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