When the first rocks rose from the sea in the region known today as Germany, the country was situated thousands of kilometres further south – on the Equator. Over time, the land was flooded by seas and a desert climate prevailed again. Despite the adaptability of the plant and animal world, nature experienced repeated setbacks. As it did 65 million years ago when a cosmic incident destroyed much of life on Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs. This then led to the rise of mammals.