The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us
Renowned paleontologist and New York Times bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs Steve Brusatte charts the extraordinary story of the dinosaurs' successor: mammals, which emerged from the shadows to rule the Earth.
In his acclaimed and bestselling The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs (“A masterpiece of science writing.” —Washington Post), Steve Brusatte, “one of the stars of modern paleontology” (National Geographic), enchanted readers with his definitive history of the dinosaurs. Now, picking up the story in the ashes of the extinction event that doomed T-rex and his kind, Brusatte explores the remarkable story of the family of animals that inherited the Earth: mammals. Though mammals are seemingly familiar to us, Brusatte brilliantly reveals that their story is as fascinating and complex as dinosaurs.
Beginning with the earliest days of the mammal lineage some 200 million years ago, Brusatte charts how mammals survived the asteroid that claimed the dinosaurs and made the world their own, becoming the furry animals that we know, love, and sometimes fear. The mammals we share the planet with today, though, are simply the few survivors of a once-verdant family tree, which has been pruned by time and mass extinctions. Saber-toothed cats, wooly mammoths, armadillos the size of a car, and bears three times the weight of a grizzly are but a few of the creatures we learn about along the way. The story concludes, of course with us—human beings—a mammal species that has so thoroughly dominated the Earth that we ourselves have triggered an extinction event that has claimed an estimated 80% of wild mammals in the last century.
Brusatte also brings alive the lost worlds mammals inhabited over the past 66 million years, from ice ages to volcanic cataclysms. Entwined in this story is the detective work he and other scientists have done to piece together our understanding using fossil clues and cutting-edge technology. A sterling example of scientific storytelling that is sure to be an instant classic, The Rise and Fall of the Mammals illustrates how this incredible history laid the foundation for today’s world, for us, and our future.
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