Where are the Andes Mountains? South America

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Satellite view of the Andes mountains with snow on them

The Andes mountains run down the Pacific side of South America

About 199 million years ago, near the beginning of the Jurassic period, was the time of the dinosaurs. That’s when the supercontinent of Pangaea broke up and the pieces began to float away from each other. The supercontinent split up into the continents we have today.

The Pacific Ocean tectonic plate started to squeeze under the South America plate, pushing up the Andes mountains that now run all along the west side of South America.

Andes mountains: very jagged, with snow on top

Andes mountains in Peru

The Andes mountains are far older than the Alps, the Rockies, or the Himalayas. They’re the oldest high mountains in the world, though they are newer than the Appalachian mountains or the Ural mountains.

The Andes were the original home of llamas and wild tomatoes and potatoes, among other things.

Learn by Doing – Graph the height of mountain chains
More about the Rocky Mountains

Bibliography and further reading about the Andes:

More about plate tectonics
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By | 2017-06-25T02:43:16+00:00 June 25th, 2017|Geology, South America|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Where are the Andes Mountains? South America. Quatr.us Study Guides, June 25, 2017. Web. December 13, 2017.

About the Author:

Karen Carr

Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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