Thomas Williamson, Ph.D., Curator of Paleontology, NMMNHS
Catastrophic changes at the end of the Cretaceous brought an end to the Age of Reptiles and cleared the way for the Age of Mammals. In the post-apocalyptic world of the earliest Cenozoic, mammals rapidly diversified and evolved and, for the first time, became the dominant terrestrial animal. New Mexico preserves one of the best records of mammal evolution during the first few million years of the Age of Mammals.
Dr. Williamson’s research has resulted in the discovery of new and unusual archaic mammals and some of the earliest close-relatives of modern mammal groups such as Primates. His recent discovery of a weird beaver-like mammal was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition. Meet many other strange animals from the Brave New World of the early Paleocene. A world in which mammals have just inherited the Earth.
Thomas E. Williamson, Ph.D. is Curator of Paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. His research over the past 20 years has explored the record of this early Cenozoic mammalian diversification in order to better understand one of the profound moments in vertebrate evolution. Dr. Williamson’s degrees are from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (B.S. Geology) and the University of New Mexico (M.S. Geology; Ph.D. Earth and Planetary Sciences). He has been a Curator of Paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science since 1994.
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