I was really stretching for a dinosaur pun in that headline. I’m not happy with the one I dug up, but it’ll do.
Research from Leeds University suggests that dinosaurs left Europe in a mass migration event roughly 125 million years ago. That puts this somewhere near the early Cretaceous period.
The research was done in a study lead by Dr Alex Dunhill of Leeds University. They essentially tracked fossil discovery records to see if they could find a geographic flow for the species in question. What they found through their research was that between 100-125 million years ago, dinosaurs used the land bridges once a part of Pangea to move from Europe to other parts of the world, en masse.
Interestingly enough, the migrations were only really happening in one direction. That is, for the 25 million year span, no significant family moves were made into Europe, only out.
Dunhill offered that “this is a curious result that has no concrete explanation.” They don’t know why it happened, and they seem to think that this could either be a genuine migratory pattern or, as they put it, “an artifact of the incomplete and sporadic nature of the dinosaur fossil record.”
We may never know the reason for the mass exit, though I imagine some interesting theories will be unearthed.