from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The process of deformation by which the major features of the earth's crust, including continents, mountains, ocean beds, folds, and faults, are formed.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The deformation of the Earth's crust to form the continents, mountains and other large features
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In geology, a general term suggested by J. W. Powell for all the varieties of deformation of the earth's crust.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the process of deformation that produces continents and ocean basins in the earth's crust
From Greek diastrophē, distortion, from diastrephein, to distort : dia-, apart; see dia- + strephein, to twist; see streb(h)- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Possibly diastrophism broke the original continent into small islands which would not support so large an animal population; or the drying-out may have progressed still further.