Pangaea, the Supercontinent
盤古大陸,超級大陸

語音播放:

Currently the world is made up of seven land masses, or continents. Their locations are not fixed, though. Rather, they are constantly shifting due the movements of tectonic plates.
現今世界由七塊陸塊或陸地組成。不過他們的位置並不固定。相反地,它們由於地殼板塊運動而不斷變化。

語音播放:

Sometimes all of the continents in the world come together to form a ‘supercontinent’, and then later they separate again. This seems to happen in cycles, and geologists believe that there have been four supercontinents in the last two billion years. The most recent supercontinent, Pangaea, existed from about 335 to 175 million years ago, coinciding with the early age of the dinosaurs. It was formed when two large continents, Gondwana (consisting of today’s Antarctica, South America, India, Africa, and Australia) and Laurasia (modern Asia, Europe, and North America) collided.
有時世界各地的大陸聚集在一起形成「超大陸」,然後再次分開。這似乎是循環發生的,地質學家認為,在過去二十億年,有四個超級大陸。最近期的超級大陸:盤古大陸,存在於大約3億3500萬至1億7500萬年前,恰逢恐龍時期的早期。當兩個大陸:岡瓦那大陸(包括今天的南極洲、南美洲、印度、非洲和澳洲)和勞亞大陸(現代的亞洲、歐洲和北美洲)相碰時,形成了這個大陸。

語音播放:

In contrast to today’s Earth, most of it was located in the southern hemisphere. It was surrounded by one superocean called Panthalassa. The interior may have been very dry and desert-like, while areas closer to the equator would have been lush and tropical. Besides dinosaurs, insects and the ancestors of modern mammals also lived in Pangaea. Most of these animals thrived well after a great mass extinction event that occurred 252 million years ago, killing off over three quarters of all life on Earth.
與今天的地球相反,大部分的陸地位於地球南半球。它被一個叫做泛大洋的超級海洋包圍。內地可能是非常乾燥和沙漠般的,而靠近赤道的地區將是草木茂盛和熱帶的。除了恐龍、昆蟲和現代哺乳動物的祖先也住在盤古大陸。這些動物大多在2億5200萬年前發生造成地球上四分之三以上的生命死亡的大規模滅絕事件後茁壯成長。

語音播放:

And what evidence do we have to support the existence of Pangaea? Well, anybody can look at a world map and notice how well the world’s present-day continents seem to fit if you were to push them together. But more scientifically, both the geological and plant/animal fossil records indicate unmistakable similarities between lands that were once beside each other.
我們有什麼證據來支持盤古大陸的存在?好吧,任何人都可以看世界地圖並注意到,如果你把世界上現今的大陸組合在一起似乎很剛好。但更科學地,地質和植物/動物化石記錄表明,曾經相鄰的土地之間有明顯的相似之處。

Vocabulary 好字精選

1. geologist (n) a rock/Earth expert 地質學家
Tina loves learning about rocks so she wants to become a geologist. 
Tina喜歡學習岩石,所以她想成為一名地質學家。

2. collide (v) smash/come together unintentionally  碰撞
The two cars collided but nobody was hurt.  
兩輛車相撞,但沒有人受傷。

3. hemisphere (n) the northern, southern, eastern, or western half od the Earth  半球
The Dominican Republic is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. 
多明尼加共和國是西半球最貧窮的國家。

4. equator (n) the imaginary line that goes around the center of the Earth  赤道
Countries near the equator usually have hot, tropical climates.
赤道附近的國家通常有炎熱的熱帶氣候。

5. lush (adj) very green with plant life  草木茂盛
The palace garden was lush and full of plants.
宮殿的花園草木茂盛,到處都是植物。

6. thrive (v) to grow, live, or develop well 茁壯成長
Bamboo thrives in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan.
竹子在台灣中央山脈茁壯成長。

7. fossil (n) bones or plant remains that have to changed to stone over time 化石
Many dinosaur fossils have been found in this desert.
在這個沙漠中發現了許多恐龍化石。

8. unmistakable (adj) impossible to deny or mistake for another thing 明確的
The students could hear the unmistakable sound of their teacher walking towards the classroom in the hallway.
學生們可以聽到明確的聲音,老師正在走廊朝教室走來。

Phrases and Sentence Patterns 句型解析

1. coincide with (phr) happen at the same time 與…相符
This year my birthday coincides with the Lunar New Year.
今年我的生日與農曆新年一致。

2. in contrast to (phr) in the opposite/very different way 與…相反,相比之下
In contrast to most of his friends, Jeff doesn’t like basketball.
與大多數朋友相反,Jeff不喜歡籃球。

Exercise 課後練習題

1.  _______________ have discovered that these mountains were once under the sea.
地質學家們發現這些山脈曾一度在海底。

2. There was a giant explosion when the two planets _______________.
兩顆行星相撞時發生了巨大的爆炸。

3. 88% of the world’s population lives in the Northern _______________.
世界上88%的人口生活在北半球。

4. The country of Ecuador is named after the _______________, which runs right through it.
厄瓜多爾是以赤道命名的,它正好穿過赤道。

5. Wow, the forest in Taiwan is so _______________ and green!
哇,台灣的森林草木茂盛且綠油油的!

6. Cockroaches _______________ in the large cities of tropical countries.
蟑螂在熱帶國家的大城市中大量繁殖。

7.One of the kids found a plant _______________ while they were playing on the rocks.
其中一個孩子在岩石上玩耍時發現了一塊植物化石。

8. The evidence supporting her theory was ______________.
支持她理論的證據是確鑿無疑的。

9. Unfortunately, the snowstorm _______________ the long weekend.
不幸的是,暴風雪恰逢漫長的週末。

10. _______________ Japanese food, Korean food is quite spicy.
與日本食物相反,韓國料理很辣。

解答:
1. Geologists
2. collided
3. hemisphere
4. equator
5. lush
6. thrive
7. fossil
8. unmistakable
9. coincided with
10. In contrast to

Comprehension Questions 閱讀理解

1. What is the main topic of the third paragraph? 
a. How did Pangaea come into existence?  
b. How do geologists know that Pangaea really existed?
c. What were the landscape and wildlife of Pangaea like?
d. What was the weather in Pangaea like?

2. Which of the following statements is incorrect?
a. Pangaea was the world’s first supercontinent.
b. Dinosaurs and insects thrived in Pangaea.
c. Geologists are fairly certain that Pangaea existed.
d. Pangaea was mostly in the southern half of the Earth.

解答:

1. 第三段的主要內容為何?
a. 盤古大陸如何形成?  
b. 地質學家怎麼知道盤古大陸真的存在?
c. 盤古大陸的景觀與野生動物為何?
d. 盤古大陸的天氣如何?

2. 下列哪項陳述是錯誤的?
a. 盤古大陸是世界上第一個超級大陸。
b. 恐龍和昆蟲在盤古大陸繁衍生息。
c. 地質學家都相當肯定盤古大陸存在。
d. 盤古大陸大多在地球的南半部。

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