The fossil of the whale having the four legs to walk on the land and swim in the water was found in the Western Desert in Egypt. It is also said that it had smelling and hearing abilities. The whale is estimated that weight of the whale was 600 kilograms. Its length was three meters. It is also discovered that a new species would have lived on our planet around 43 million years ago.
As the skull in the partial fossil discovered in the Western Desert in Egypt, it resembles the jackal-headed God of the dead. It was named Phiomicetus Anubis. Anubis was the name of the ancient Egyptian god of death. The Faiyum Oasis is the basin in the desert where the fossils were extracted from the Eocene rocks.
Through discovering this whale, the researchers clearly understand that the transitions of mammals from their life on the ground to become sea creatures. The study’s lead author, Abdullah Gohar, said Reuters.
“Phiomicetus Anubis is a key new whale species, and a critical discovery for Egyptian and African paleontology.”
The fossil of this new creature gives the transition stage of this extinct whale that falls in the middle of their transition from the amphibian to fully aquatic. Researchers said that the four-legged whale would have been the topmost predator during its lifetime.
Hisham Sallam, chairman of the Mansoura University Center for Vertebrate Fossils and supervisor of the research team, quoted as saying by IANS,
“Paleontologists discovered the fossils in 2008 during an expedition in Egypt’s Fayoum Depression that is famous for sea life fossils dating back to the Eocene Epoch about 56 to 33.9 million years ago,”
Mohamed Sameh, a paleontologist at the Ministry of Environment, confirmed in the ministry’s Facebook post that,
“The discovered whale is older than all African whales found so far, plus one of the strongest whales discovered so far. The anatomical analysis of this fossil proved that the whale has a very strong bite might outweigh the deadly crocodile bite.”
Sameh said from the analysis of its lower jaw fossils,
“Its jaw suggests that it had an incredibly powerful bite, possibly stronger than crocodiles.
The shape of the fossil makes it resemble a land-dwelling animal more so than an aquatic species.”
Researchers said that the discovery would help researchers. It understands the “biogeography and feeding ecology of early whales.” They reveal that the fossil clarifies the mystery of this ancient whale that had been remained unfound until now.
It had been taken four years for the research team to document and record the study. The research had been done by comparing the fossils with the samples of other whales in and outside Egypt. The researchers at the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology center in west Egypt would have undergone further research to study more about the fossil. It is also considered that the new species would be the oldest whale discovered in Africa.