#AceNewsReport – Aug.27: The newly discovered whale belongs to the Protocetidae, a group of extinct whales that falls in the middle of their transition from land to sea, the Egyptian-led team of researchers said in a statement….
#AceDailyNews says that Paleontologists have discovered a four-legged whale fossil, name it Phiomicetus anubis after Egypt’s ‘God Of Death’ the fossil was unearthed from middle Eocene rocks in the Fayum Depression in Egypt’s Western Desert — an area once covered by sea that has provided a rich seam of discoveries showing the evolution of whales — before being studied at Mansoura University Vertebrate Palaeontology Centre (MUVP).
The new whale, named Phiomicetus anubis, had an estimated body length of about 3 metres and a body mass of about 600kg, and was likely a top predator, the researchers said.
Its partial skeleton revealed it as the most primitive protocetid whale known from Africa.
“Phiomicetus anubis is a key new whale species, and a critical discovery for Egyptian and African paleontology,” said Abdullah Gohar of MUVP, lead author of a paper on the discovery published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
“It was a successful, active predator,” Mr Gohar told Live Science. “I think it was the god of death for most animals that lived alongside it.”
The whale’s genus name honours the Fayum Depression, and its species name refers to Anubis, the ancient Egyptian canine-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife.
Despite recent fossil discoveries, the big picture of early whale evolution in Africa has largely remained a mystery, the researchers said.
Work in the region had the potential to reveal new details about the evolutionary transition of whales from being amphibious to fully aquatic.
With rocks covering about 12 million years, discoveries in the Fayum Depression “range from semi-aquatic crocodile-like whales to giant fully aquatic whales”, said Mohamed Sameh of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, a co-author.
The new whale has raised questions about ancient ecosystems and pointed research towards questions such as the origin and coexistence of ancient whales in Egypt, said Hesham Sellam, founder of the MUVP and another co-author.
#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.27: 2021:
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