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How North America got its shape - Peter J. Haproff

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North America didn’t always have its familiar shape, nor its famed mountains, canyons, and plains: all of that was once contained in an unrecognizable mass, buried deep in Rodinia, a huge supercontinent that lay on the face of the Earth. Peter J. Haproff explains how it took millions of years and some incredible plate tectonics to forge the continent we know today.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Peter J. Haproff
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Hernando Bahamon
  • Art Director Andrés Landazábal
  • Composer Manuel Borda
  • Compositor Ricardo Avila
  • Animator Miguel Otálora
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Want to learn more about North America’s geologic history and plate tectonics? Talk to a geologist! Visit our UCLA Tectonics and Structural Geology group site and check out ongoing research and published papers on the Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, and even Mars.

You can find excellent figures and explanations of North American plate tectonics from the U.S. Geological Survey here. You can also see paleogeographic reconstructions of North America through geologic time at Dr. Ron Blakey’s site.

Want to learn more about the San Andreas fault and other active faults right in our backyard? See the Southern California Earthquake Center’s site. How about hourly updates of global earthquakes? Real-time information on North America’s volcanoes can be found at this site.

North America's range of national parks offers many opportunities for visitors to see these geographical and geological formations in person. More information can be found at the National Park Service website.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Peter J. Haproff
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Hernando Bahamon
  • Art Director Andrés Landazábal
  • Composer Manuel Borda
  • Compositor Ricardo Avila
  • Animator Miguel Otálora
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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