Scientists Stumped by Mass Dinosaur Migration From Europe
Apple| | By Jason Owen
A “major new study” has revealed that millions of years ago dinosaurs fled the land mass that we now know as Europe, but can find “no concrete explanation” for their doing so.
According to researchers at the University of Bath and at Leeds, during the Early Cretaceous period (125-100 million years ago) all dinosaur connections between Europe and other continents were “out-going,” meaning that “while dinosaur families were leaving Europe, no new families were migrating into Europe.”
To find these results, the researchers used a process called ‘network theory,’ which is more commonly used to track friend connections on social networking sites like Facebook and quantifies the data. This was the first study to use network theory on dinosaur research.
Dr. Sciberras, from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at Bath and co-author of the study, said, “Network theory allows us to track the relationships between related data points, in this example dinosaur fossils, allowing us to show this possible exodus effect.”
University of Leeds professor and lead researcher, Dr. Alex Dunhill, said, “This is a curious result that has no concrete explanation. It might be a real migratory pattern or it may be an artifact of the incomplete and sporadic nature of the dinosaur fossil record.”
The study also helps to confirm long-held research that dinosaurs continued to migrate after the super-continent Pangea split apart into the continents we know today.
The study authors theorize that temporary land bridges formed when sea levels dropped and tectonic plates shifted “temporarily reconnecting the continents,” Dunhill added.