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Rise of the Mammals (2019)Rise of the Mammals (2019)

For 170 million years, some 700 species of dinosaurs ruled the entire earth. Then, about 66 million years ago, as if someone threw a switch, they vanished. Gone. In "the single worst day in earth's history," an enormous asteroid about seven miles wide, traveling over 40,000 miles an hour, slammed into the Gulf of Mexico. The impact left a crater on the ocean floor that's 124 miles wide and 20 miles deep. The impact not only wiped out the dinosaurs, but also 75% of all life. But out of this catastrophic extinction event the mammals re-emerged, further evolved, and then flourished to "dominate the planet" and "claim the earth." Today there are over 6,000 species of mammals. This one-hour PBS NOVA movie tells how mammalian life not only resurfaced but exploded into something far more diverse and complex. In particular, the movie tracks the implications of a once-in-a-lifetime discovery of thousands of "exquisitely preserved" fossils in Corral Bluffs, Colorado (including 16 different species of mammals). This story was widely reported in the media, with its scholarly version being reported in Science (October 24, 2019).

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