When an asteroid struck Earth 66 million years ago and wiped out the entire dinosaur population, it paved the way for the emergence of mammals. Brooklyn College Assistant Professor of Anthropology Stephen Chester was a key collaborator in a groundbreaking discovery of thousands of exceptionally preserved animal and plant fossils from the critical first million years, including the mammal skulls and lower jawbones shown here. “This discovery has produced a lifetime’s worth of fossils to work on, which will continue to provide us with a clearer view of the beginning of the age of mammals,” says Chester. The findings have been published in the recent issue of Science magazine (pdf) and are appearing on the NOVA documentary Rise of the Mammals, streaming on PBS. For more on this unprecedented discovery, including a complete list of collaborators, see the full story on BC News.