Egyptian scientists have identified the fossil of a four-legged prehistoric whale, unearthed over a decade ago in the country’s western desert.
The creature, an ancestor of the modern-day whale, is believed to have lived 43 million years ago.
It isn’t the first fossil of a walking whale to be discovered, but it is believed to be one of the oldest from the fayum depression area.
living both on land and sea, it had a semi-aquatic lifestyle. According to the team’s leading palaeontologists it had features of an accomplished hunter.
The fossil was first found by a team of egyptian environmentalists in 2008 in an area that was covered by seas in prehistoric times, but researchers only published their findings that it is a confirmed new species last month.
The fossil sheds light on the evolution of whales from herbivore land mammals into carnivorous species that today live exclusively in water.
Data source: ajc