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The Rise and Reign of the Mammals : A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us

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'Steve Brusatte, the author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, brings mammals out from the shadow of their more showy predecessors . . . In this beautifully written . . . terrific book, he tells the extraordinary story of how mammals came to be and makes the case for them as creatures who are just as engaging as dinosaurs.' – The Sunday TimesThe passing of the age of the dinosaurs allowed mammals to become ascendant.

But mammals have a much deeper history. They – or, more precisely, we – originated around the same time as the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago; mammal roots lie even further back, some 325 million years. Over these immense stretches of geological time, mammals developed their trademark features: hair, keen senses of smell and hearing, big brains and sharp intelligence, fast growth and warm-blooded metabolism, a distinctive line-up of teeth, mammary glands that mothers use to nourish their babies with milk, qualities that have underlain their success story. Out of this long and rich evolutionary history came the mammals of today, including our own species and our closest cousins.

But today’s 6,000 mammal species are simply the few survivors of a once verdant family tree, which has been pruned both by time and mass extinctions. In The Rise and Reign of the Mammals, Brusatte weaves together the history and evolution of our mammal forebears, iconic mammals such as the mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers of which we have all heard, and fascinating species that few of us are aware of.

In this fascinating and ground-breaking book, Steve Brusatte tells their – and our – story.

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Product Details
152903423X / 9781529034233
Paperback / softback
United Kingdom
xxvi, 500 pages : illustrations (black and white), maps (black and white)
20 cm
Reprint. Originally published: New York: Mariner Books, 2022.