The Messel Pit is one of the most remarkable fossil excavation sites in the world. But what accounts for the sheer volume of animal skeletons found there?
A mass extinction rid the world of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. With the biggest players out of the picture, the world was up for grabs, and a new branch of vertebrate would eventually take over. Join David Attenborough as he charts the fascinating story of the mammals, from their origins as tiny nocturnal forest-dwellers to their explosion in diversity and domination. Through new fossil discoveries, we chart how and when our ancestors developed hair, placentas, and milk, and laid the foundations for the major mammal groups we see today.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel on air.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.