“We’re here mainly by chance,” says Bertrand. “The asteroid could have missed Earth, it could have fallen in another area of the planet in the ocean and it would have made a difference in terms of which species were selected. The whole thing when I think about it – it’s crazy.”
Brusatte agrees. “It could have just whizzed right past, it could have just ruffled the upper layers of the atmosphere, it could have disintegrated as it got closer to Earth. It could have done anything, but just by dumb luck it made a beeline for the Earth.”
For the mammals alive today, perhaps it’s a good thing it did.