Scientists from the University of Bath say that more than 90% of all mammal species have disappeared in the same period as the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago, when, according to the conventional hypothesis, fell to Earth a giant asteroid.
Researchers studying the mammals that lived in the late Cretaceous period on the territory of modern North America, came to the conclusion that 93% of species became extinct at the boundary of the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods. However, unlike the dinosaurs, mammals were able to quickly restore the number of species, however, this process was happening faster than previously thought by scientists.
After the collision of Earth with an asteroid large part of the plants and creatures disappeared, so the surviving animals could eat the insects that eat dead plants and dead animals.
According to scientists from the University of Bath, the largest land animals that survived were about the size of a cat. Mammals quickly regained their species number over a very short period. Moreover, the number of species of mammals, over 300 thousand years was two times more compared to the period before the mass extinction.
Scientists conducted the study also showed that mammals suffered extinction more than animals such as lizards, turtles and crocodiles. However, at the same time, mammals were more adapted to the changed conditions. To the surprise of researchers, the speed of recovery of mammals differed in different parts of the continent.