Fossils are important evidence for the continental drift theory. Fossils give us information about the distribution of species millions of years ago, and about what the habitat may have been like during the time the animal was alive, such as climatic conditions.

Alfred Wegener found the same fossils (e.g. Mesosaurus) across all southern continents, which are far apart today. Those southern continents were once united in the supercontinent Pangaea. According to the continental drift theory, they were located very close to each other and experienced similar climates before they drifted apart.

People doubting the continental drift theory tried to find other explanations for these fossil occurrences. But an independent evolution of the same species on different continents contradicts Darwin’s theory of evolution. Swimming across the Atlantic Ocean was not a valid option. Mesosaurus only lived in freshwater, and the other species could not swim at all. And it is very unlikely that animals crossed such long distances via land bridges.

Figure 1: Distribution of four different fossils across the southern continents as evidence for the continental drift theory.