43 million-year-old four-legged whale fossil found in Egypt

TEMPO.CO, Kairo – Scientists on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, said that they had found in Egypt a 43 million year old fossil of the species Pause previously unknown four-legged amphibian. The discovery helped scientists track the whale’s transition from land to sea.

Jenis paus yang baru ditemukan itu termasuk dalam kelompok Protocetidae, yakni sekelompok paus yang punah karena gagal bertahan di masa transisi dari darat ke laut, kata tim peneliti yang dipimpin Mesir dalam sebuah pernyataan.

Fosil paus berkaki empat itu digali dari bebatuan Eosen tengah di Oasis Faiyum di Gurun Barat Mesir, daerah yang dulunya tertutup oleh laut dan telah memberikan banyak penemuan yang menunjukkan evolusi paus. Kemudian, fosil paus tersebut dipelajari di Pusat Paleontologi Vertebrata Universitas Mansoura (MUVP).

Paus jenis baru yang ditemukan itu diberi nama Phiomicetus anubis dan diperkirakan memiliki panjang tubuh sekitar tiga meter dan massa tubuh sekitar 600 kilogram sehingga paus itu kemungkinan merupakan predator paling atas, kata para peneliti.

The partial skeleton of the whale revealed that the four-legged whale was the most primitive protocetid whale known from Africa.

“Phiomicetus anubis is an important new whale species, and an important discovery for Egyptian and African paleontology,” said Abdullah Gohar of MUVP. Gohar is the lead author of a paper on the discovery published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The whale’s genus name, Phiomicetus, was given in honor of the place where the whale was found, namely Oasis Fayum. While the species name, anubis, refers to the god Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god with the head of a dog associated with mummification and life after death.

See also  Jerusalem

Despite recent fossil discoveries, the big picture of early whale evolution in Africa remains largely a mystery, researchers say. Work in the region has the potential to reveal new details about the evolutionary transition from amphibian whales to fully aquatic whales.

“With rocks covering about 12 million years, discoveries at Oasis Fayum range from whales such as semi-aquatic crocodiles to giant water whales,” said Mohamed Sameh of Egypt’s Environmental Affairs Agency.

The discovery of the new whale has raised questions about ancient ecosystems and led research into questions, such as the origins and life of ancient whales in Egypt, said MUVP founder Hesham Sellam.

ANTARA | REUTERS

Read:
The Beauty of the 49 Million Year Old Beetle Fossil

.

Leave a Comment