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was a whale fossil found in egypt

by Prof. Helen Howe Published 1 year ago Updated 1 month ago
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Egyptian scientists say the fossil of a four-legged prehistoric whale, unearthed more than 10 years ago in the country's Western Desert, is that of a previously unknown species. The creature, an ancestor of the modern-day whale, is believed to have lived 43 million years ago.Sep 15, 2021

When did the first four-legged whale live?

Scientists in Egypt have identified a new species of four-legged whale that lived around 43 million years ago. The fossil of the amphibious Phiomicetus anubis was originally discovered in Egypt's Western Desert.

What was the size of the whale fossil?

Researchers in Egypt found the fossil of an extinct, four-legged whale that lived both on land and in the sea. It weighed around 1,300 pounds and had a head shaped like a jackal's, and a powerful jaw.

What is a prehistoric whale?

Prehistoric whale, known as semi-aquatic because it lived on land and sea, showed signs of being an accomplished hunter 43 million years ago. Egyptian scientists say the fossil of a four-legged prehistoric whale, unearthed more than 10 years ago in the country’s Western Desert, is that of a previously unknown species.

Was there ever a whale with legs?

A team led by Egyptian scientists have dug up a 43 million-year-old fossil in the Sahara Desert in Egypt of a now-extinct amphibious four-legged whale. That's right, folks — a whale with legs.

Where was the whale fossil found?

How big is a Phiomicetus anubis?

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What fossil was found in Egypt?

Along with Spinosaurus, the 13 metre-long Carcharodontosaurus and the 11 metre-long Bahariasaurus, the new abelisaurid fossil adds yet another species to the cadre of large predatory dinosaurs that roamed what is now the Egyptian Sahara in the middle Cretaceous. The area was also home to giant crocodiles.

Where was the whale fossil found?

The skull of a basilosaurus, an ancient whale, is seen in Lima, Peru on March 17, 2022. Paleontologists on Thursday unveiled the fossilized remains of an ancient whale that inhabited the seas 36 million years ago, found last year in a Peruvian desert.

Did whales originate in Egyptian waters?

Scientists say they have found a 43 million-year-old fossil of a whale ancestor in Egypt. The fossil remains help show how ancestors of modern whales might have moved from living on land to living in water.

Where did the oldest whale fossil live?

The oldest fossil whales are about 50 million years old and are believed to have originated in modern-day Pakistan and India.

Are there whales in Egypt?

Sixteen species of cetacean have been recorded in the Red Sea, including spinner, spotted, bottlenose and Risso's dolphins, and occasionally false killer whales, Bryde's whales or even (rarely) humpback whales1,2.

Did whales use 4 legs to walk?

Although whales are expert swimmers and perfectly adapted to life underwater, these marine mammals once walked on four legs. Their land-dwelling ancestors lived about 50 million years ago.

Where did whales evolve from?

The Origin of Whales or the Evolution. The first whales appeared 50 million years ago, well after the extinction of the dinosaurs, but well before the appearance of the first humans. Their ancestor is most likely an ancient artiodactyl, i.e. a four-legged, even-toed hoofed (ungulate) land mammal, adapted for running.

Why did whales lose their legs?

In findings to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say the gradual shrinkage of the whales' hind limbs over 15 million years was the result of slowly accumulated genetic changes that influenced the size of the limbs and that these changes happened sometime late in ...

Was there a prehistoric whale?

Egyptian scientists say the fossil of a four-legged prehistoric whale, unearthed over a decade ago in the country's Western Desert, is that of a previously unknown species. The creature, an ancestor of the modern-day whale, is believed to have lived 43 million years ago.

What unusual location holds many whale fossils?

Wadi Al-Hitan, Whale Valley, in the Western Desert of Egypt, contains invaluable fossil remains of the earliest, and now extinct, suborder of whales, Archaeoceti.

What was the very first whale?

PakicetusOdd as it may seem, a four-footed land mammal named Pakicetus, living some 50 million years ago in what we know as Pakistan today, bears the title of “first whale.”

Are there any whale fossils?

The Smithsonian Institution is home to the largest collection of whale fossils in the world. Examples of nearly every lineage of whale can be found at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC, or in the museum's storage facility in nearby Maryland.

When was the 4 legged whale found?

In 2011, a team of palaeontologists in Peru discovered a 43-million-year-old whale fossil with four legs, webbed feet and hooves.

Why did scientists find a whale fossil in the middle of the desert?

More likely, says lead Smithsonian researcher Nicholas Pyenson, the area was once a "lagoon-like environment" that somehow became closed off from the open ocean. The whales either died when the lagoon dried up, or when a natural disaster (such as an earthquake or landslide) sealed them off from the sea.

What unusual location holds many whale fossils?

Wadi Al-Hitan, Whale Valley, in the Western Desert of Egypt, contains invaluable fossil remains of the earliest, and now extinct, suborder of whales, Archaeoceti.

How old is fossilized whale bone?

The anatomical name for this bone is Tympanic Bulla. These fossils are 15 million years old (Miocene Epoch), which was a period when many recognizably modern animals evolved.

Fossil of previously unknown four-legged whale found in Egypt

Scientists have discovered the 43 million-year-old fossil of a previously unknown amphibious four-legged whale species

Egypt team identifies fossil of land-roaming whale species

CAIRO -- Egyptian scientists say the fossil of a four-legged prehistoric whale, unearthed over a decade ago in the country's Western Desert, is that of a previously unknown species. The creature ...

New species of ancient four-legged whale discovered in Egypt

The three-metre whale was found in Egypt and has been named after Anubis, the ancient god of death.

New species of ancient four-legged whale discovered in Egypt

Scientists in Egypt have identified a new species of four-legged whale that lived around 43 million years ago.

Fossil of previously unknown four-legged whale found in Egypt

Abdullah Gohar, a researcher at El Mansoura, university works on renovating the 43 million-year-old fossil of a previously unknown four-legged amphibious whale called "Phiomicetus Anubis", that ...

Fossil of prehistoric land-roaming whale species is identified

Egyptian scientists say the fossil of a four-legged prehistoric whale, unearthed over a decade ago in the country's Western Desert, is that of a previously unknown species.

How long ago did the whale live?

The whale belongs to the family of Protecetids, extinct semi-aquatic whales that lived from 59 to 34 million years ago, Sallam said. It would have walked on land but also hunted in the water.

Where did whales originate?

The oldest fossil whales are about 50 million years old and are believed to have originated in modern-day Pakistan and India. However, scientists have not been able to reach a conclusive answer as to when whales moved out of their point of origin to all the world’s oceans.

Why is the prehistoric whale considered semi-aquatic?

The prehistoric whale, known as semi-aquatic because it lived on land and sea, sported features of an accomplished hunter , making it stand out among other whale fossils, the team’s leading paleontologist Hesham Sallam told the Associated Press news agency on Tuesday.

What is the only natural world heritage site in Egypt?

Egypt’s Western Desert region is already known for the so-called Whale Valley, or Wadi al-Hitan, a tourist attraction and the country’s only natural World Heritage site that contains fossil remains of another type of prehistoric whales.

When was the fossil of the sandstone found?

The fossil was first found by Egyptian environmentalists in 2008 in an area covered by seas in prehistoric times, but researchers only published their findings confirming a new species last month.

Where did Mansourasaurus live?

His team has previously made headlines worldwide with their 2018 discovery of Mansourasaurus, a new species of long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in the Nile Delta province of Mansoura.

Where did whales originate?

The oldest fossil whales are about 50 million years old and are believed to have originated in modern-day Pakistan and India. However, scientists have not been able to reach a conclusive answer as to when whales moved out of their point of origin to all the world’s oceans.

Why is the prehistoric whale considered semi-aquatic?

The prehistoric whale, known as semi-aquatic because it lived both on land and sea, sported features of an accomplished hunter, the team’s leading paleontologist, Hesham Sallam, told The Associated Press — features that make it stand out among other whale fossils.

What is the only natural world heritage site in Egypt?

Egypt's Western Desert region is already known for the so-called Whale Valley, or Wadi Al-Hitan, a tourist attraction and the country's only natural World Heritage site that contains fossil remains of another type of prehistoric whales.

How long did it take for whales to evolve?

The transition took place over roughly 10 million years, according to an article published on the discovery in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Where did Mansourasaurus live?

His team has previously made headlines worldwide with their 2018 discovery of Mansourasaurus, a new species of long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in the Nile Delta province of Mansoura.

When was the first whale fossil found?

The world’s first intact fossil of an ancient whale was also discovered in the area back in 2015 when researchers came upon the skeleton of one of the earliest fully aquatic whale species, a Basilosaurus dating about 40 million years old. Though first found in Alabama of all places back in the 1830s, the Egyptian fossil revealed new details on the origin of these apex predators.

What is the name of the valley in Egypt where whales are found?

As part of Egypt’s Wadi Al-Hitan —or Whale Valley—Fayum Depression is no stranger to historic whale findings.

Where are Whales From?

The discovery of the Phiomicetus anubis has given scientists further insight into the ecology of early whales and potentially into the origin of whales altogether.

When did whales first appear?

The first whales are thought to have first evolved in South Asia around 50 million years ago. In 2011, a team of palaeontologists in Peru discovered a 43-million-year-old whale fossil with four legs, webbed feet and hooves.

When did the four-legged whale live?

Scientists in Egypt have identified a new species of four-legged whale that lived around 43 million years ago.

How big is the Phiomicetus anubis?

Weighing an estimated 600kg and three metres (10ft) in length, the Phiomicetus anubis had strong jaws to catch prey, according to the study published by the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on Wednesday. The whale was able to walk on land and swim in water.

How old is the fossil of a whale?

Scientists in Egypt have discovered the 43-million-year-old fossil of a four-legged whale species that both walked on land and swam in the water.

When did the Phiomicetus anubis whales first appear?

Named "Phiomicetus anubis," the newly-discovered species is part of a group of semiaquatic whales called Protocetids, which existed in the Eocene period, which was 56 million to 33.9 million years ago , per the report. Because they are amphibious, Protocetids represent a unique stage in whale evolution that still largely remains a mystery to researchers.

Who are the three paleontologists who sat around the whale fossil?

The paleontologists sit around the fossil of the newly-discovered whale. From left to right: Mohamed Sameh Antar, Abdullah Gohar, and Hesham Sallam.

Where was the whale fossil found?

Its fossil was unearthed from middle Eocene rocks in the Fayum Depression in Egypt’s Western Desert — an area once covered by sea that has provided a rich seam of discoveries showing the evolution of whales — before being studied at Mansoura University Vertebrate Palaeontology Centre (MUVP).

How big is a Phiomicetus anubis?

The new whale, named Phiomicetus anubis, had an estimated body length of some three meters (10 feet) and a body mass of about 1,300 lb and was likely a top predator, the researchers said. Its partial skeleton revealed it as the most primitive protocetid whale known from Africa.

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