Egyptians Uncover Fossil of Prehistoric Whale Species

Egyptians Uncover Fossil of Prehistoric Whale Species

( – Water covers around 71% of the Earth’s surface. So it isn’t surprising that life was, and is, plentiful in the largest bodies of water within our world. Yet, millions of years ago, life looked a lot different than it does now. In fact, archaeologists in Egypt recently unearthed a fossil that appears to prove whales once roamed solid land.

The recent discovery connects the dots by shining a light on how land-based herbivores eventually became water-exclusive carnivores.

Scientists in Egypt claim the fossil belongs to a previously unknown species stemming from the Protecetids family. They believe the four-legged whale last walked — or swam — about 43 million years ago.

Environmentalists discovered the fossil over a decade ago in 2008 in Egypt’s Western Wadi Al-Hitan Desert, which at one point in time fell entirely underwater.

Researchers didn’t publish findings about the fossil until August 2021. That’s because few were able to examine it until 2017. So Hassan Sallam, the discovery team’s leading paleontologist, wanted to take his time assembling the best people for the job.

The process of documenting the semi-aquatic whale is also a milestone for Egyptian scientists. In fact, it’s the first time an Egyptian team tracks a new genus, and potentially, species, in the country’s entire history of vertebrate research.

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