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Palaeontology

Four-legged, land-walking whale discovered

By T.K. Randall
September 2, 2021 · Comment icon 6 comments



Not your average whale... Image Credit: Dr Robert W. Boessenecker
The fossil remains of a particularly unusual species of prehistoric whale have been unearthed in Egypt.
Measuring three meters in length and weighing in at around 600kg, this bizarre 'land whale' lived around 43 million years ago in what is now Egypt's Western Desert.

Known as Phiomicetus anubis, it had a large snout and strong jaws that it used to catch prey, while its four legs helped it to swim as well as to emerge from the water and walk around on dry land.

The earliest known semi-aquatic whale ever found on the continent, the species was thought to have itself evolved from land-dwelling deer-like animals over a period of around 10 million years.
The fossil remains were discovered in an area of the desert basin known as the Fayum Depression.

"Phiomicetus anubis is a key new whale species, and a critical discovery for Egyptian and African palaeontology," said study lead author Abdullah Gohar.

The first ever whales were thought to have evolved around 50 million years ago in Asia.

Source: BBC News | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Wepwawet 1 year ago
It's too late now, but really they should have named it Ammit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammit Compare Ammit on the right compared to Anubis on the left to the reconstruction in the article, and how fearsome they deem it to be.
Comment icon #2 Posted by quiXilver 1 year ago
Nice observation mate. Count me a +1 in favor of Ammit.
Comment icon #3 Posted by HSlim 1 year ago
My ex wife is a walking whale. Does that count?
Comment icon #4 Posted by jethrofloyd 1 year ago
This creature is a good candidate to be the mythical. Loch Ness monster. Considering that there are observations both in Loch Ness, and on the land next to the lake.
Comment icon #5 Posted by MysteryMike 1 year ago
Also fits the deion of the Inuit mythical creature the akhlut.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Twin 1 year ago
the species was thought to have itself evolved from land-dwelling deer-like animals. Except deer are vegetarians.


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