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Rise of the Mammals

Amazing fossils reveal how mammals took over after an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs.

Premiered: Runtime: 53:17Topic: EvolutionEvolutionNova

Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs in a fiery global catastrophe. But we know little about how their successors, the mammals, recovered and took over the world. Now, hidden inside ordinary-looking rocks, an astonishing trove of fossils reveals a dramatic new picture of how rat-sized creatures ballooned in size and began to evolve into the vast array of species—from cheetahs to bats to whales to humans—that rule our planet today.

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