Learn about biogeography, the study of the geographic distribution of organisms, with this video from NOVA’s Evolution Lab. When a new island forms, winds and currents can bring life ashore from nearby land masses. Over time, these organisms evolve into different species. Some species are quite unique, but others have similar relatives around the world. How can a plant in the Pacific Islands be so similar to a South American plant? Organisms could move around easily when Earth’s land masses still formed the supercontinent Pangaea. When the continents split, some species were divided across multiple continents, leading to very similar descendants in distant locations.
Find out more at the NOVA Evolution Lab.