Two photos from above and below show the fossil skeleton of Pantolambda

After the dinosaurs went extinct, mammals swelled in size. They do it.

About 62 million years ago — just 4 million years after an asteroid the size of Mount Everest hit Earth and ended the age of dinosaurs — furry creatures with finger-like fingers on their feet emerged as the first to roam the planet of large mammals. These animals are about the size of a large dog, towering over the shrew-to-possum-sized mammals that existed before the space rock hit, and now scientists think they know how these critters outshone their small mammalian cousins.

In a new study published Wednesday (August 31) in the journal nature (opens in new tab)Researchers analyze fossil teeth and bone of Pantolambda Bathmodona robust, now extinct mammal that weighed about 92 pounds (42 kilograms) in adulthood.

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