Egypt Desert

Paleontologists digging in an Egyptian desert have unearthed an extinct whale species that lived on the planet 41 million years ago. It is said that during that period the whale ancestors were migrating from land to the sea.

The species “Tutcetus rayanensis” is around 2.5 meters (eight feet) in length and should have weighed 187 Kg (410 pounds). It is believed that Tutcetus is the smallest Whale species that ever lived as compared to the basilosaurids, which used to live in the water exclusively.

Hesham Sallam, Team leader of this project termed it as a “remarkable discovery that documents one of the first phases of the transition to a fully aquatic lifestyle”.

According to Salam, the species Basilosaurids “developed fish-like characteristics, such as a streamlined body, a strong tail, flippers, and a tail fin, and had the last hind limbs visible enough to be recognized as ‘legs’, which were not used for walking but possibly for mating.”

Erik Seiffert from the University of Southern California and also a member of the finding team says that this particular site in Egypt, Eocene fossil sites located in Egypt’s Western Desert is very important in understanding the earlier life of whales, including their move from the land to water.

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