March 15, 2012
Early Mammal Successful Before Dinos Killed
Sid Perkins, Science Now
By now, even schoolchildren know the story: Sixty-five million years ago, a giant asteroid slammed into Earth, ending the reign of the dinosaurs and allowing our mammalian ancestors to flourish. But a new study suggests that some of the earliest mammals were already doing well millions of years before dinos kicked the bucket. These mouse-sized creatures, known as multituberculates, appear to have started proliferating around the same time that flowering plants went through their own burst of evolution.
TAGGED: teeth, mammals, dinosaurs