Mammal roots

While on the case of kitty’s origins, this might be a nice companion – a view on mammalian evolution. Where’s the kitty connection? Look up “mammal“.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK

Mammal rise ‘not linked’ to dinos


Mammals family tree [1.6MB]
Use zoom tool to see mammal details on the circle’s edge

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The extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had little effect on the evolution of mammals, according to a study in the journal Nature.

One theory had suggested the rise of the mammals was directly linked to the disappearance of the dinosaurs.

The evidence challenging the connection comes from the most complete family tree compiled for mammals.

It shows how different groups, such as primates and rodents, are related and when they diverged.

An international team compiled the mammal “supertree” from existing fossil data and from genetic analyses.

Throughout the Cretaceous Period, when dinosaurs walked the Earth, mammals were relatively few in number, and were prevented from diversifying and evolving in ecosystems dominated by the ancient reptiles.

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