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August 29 2013

Not the end of the world: why Earth's greatest mass extinction was the making of modern mammals


The ancient closest relatives of mammals the cynodont therapsids not only survived the greatest mass extinction of all time, 252 million years ago, but thrived in the aftermath, according to new research published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The first mammals arose in the Triassic period, over 225 million years ago. These early furballs include small shrew-like animals such as Morganucodon from England, Megazostrodon from South Africa, and Bienotherium from China.

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