CAIRO (Dispatches) – Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has issued a statement announcing the discovery of an amphibious whale that lived 43 million years ago.
The official page of the Egyptian Cabinet on Facebook stated that Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, reviewed a report on the success of an Egyptian research team in recording a new discovery of a type of amphibian whale in Egyptian waters dating back 43 million years.
The semiaquatic whale was named after Anubis, the Ancient Egyptian god of death, the ministry said.
It is believed to be the first time in history that an Arab-Egyptian team has documented a new species of whales. With a length of 3 meters and weight of 600 kilograms, the whale was able to walk on land and swim in water like crocodiles and small mammals, the statement added.
“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,” said Hisham Sallam, chairman of the Mansoura University Center for Vertebrate Fossils that supervises the research team.
He added that the team worked for four years to document and record the study after comparing the fossils with samples of other whales in and outside Egypt.
The study was published online in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, the statement said.