- BBC News World
43 million years ago, a four-legged whale lived on our planet.
ancient amphibians that Next to swimming he walked on landIt is considered one of the ancestors of modern whales.
On Wednesday, Egyptian scientists announced that they had identified a new species from this unusual specimen.
amphibian fossil Phiomicetus Anubis It was originally discovered in the western desert of Egypt.
His name was chosen because his skull resembles his own Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of the dead Jackal.
These animals originated from deer-like mammals that inhabited the Earth for 10 million years.
With an estimated weight of 600 kg and a length of three meters, the Phiomicetus Anubis It had powerful jaws to catch prey, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society b.
The skeleton was found in the Fayoum depression west of the Nile River by scientists from Mansoura University.
Although the area is now desert, it was once covered by the sea and is a rich source of fossils.
“The Phiomicetus Anubis “It is a new species of whale that constitutes a crucial discovery for Egyptian and African palaeontology,” Abdullah Gohar, the study’s lead author, told Reuters news agency.
While this isn’t the first time a legged whale fossil has been found, Phiomicetus Anubis can be The first type of semi-aquatic whale that was discovered in Africa.
Hisham Salam, founder of the Center for Vertebrate Paleontology at Mansoura University, celebrated the discovery and shared the location of the discovery in the Egyptian desert on Twitter.
Early evolution of whales in Africa still very much a mystery, The researchers said.
The first whales are believed to have evolved in southern Asia about 50 million years ago.
In 2011, a team of paleontologists in Peru discovered a 43 million-year-old whale fossil with four legs, bare feet, and hooves.
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