Mammals

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the rise of the mammals. The Cenozoic Era of Earth's history began 65 million years ago and runs to this day. It began with the extraordinary 'KT event', a supposed asteroid impact that destroyed the dinosaurs, and incorporates the break up of Pangaea, the enormous landmass that eventually formed the continents we know today. It is known as the 'Age of the Mammals', and it is the period in which warm-blooded, lactating, often furry animals diversified rapidly and spread across the globe on land and in the sea. According to evolutionary theory, what conditions created the opportunity for mammals to thrive? What environmental factors lead to the characteristics they share - and the features they don't? And how did they become the most intelligent class of animals on the planet? With Richard Corfield, Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the Open University; Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London; Jane Francis, Professor of Palaeoclimatology at the University of Leeds.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 13 Oct 2005 21:30

Featured in...

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

Hildegard of Bingen

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

Quizzes

tess1-1920.jpg

Test your knowledge of the subjects covered by In Our Time.

The Matter of the North

BBC_R4_MELVYN_BRAGG_AHW-1920.jpg

Melvyn Bragg explores the pivotal role of England's north in shaping modern Britain.

In Our Time podcasts

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.