Dinosaur demise allowed mammals to 'go nuts'

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Land mammals went from small "vermin" to giant beasts in just 25 million years, according to a new study.

Writing in the journal Science, researchers say mammals rapidly filled the "large animal" void left by the dinosaurs' demise 65 million years ago.

They then went from creatures weighing between 3g and 15kg to a hugely diverse group including 17-tonne beasts.

Further growth was capped by temperature and land availability, the scientists believe.

Felisa Smith of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, US, and colleagues looked at the fossil record of mammals to plot their course through the ages....

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