Nature Middle East | House of Wisdom

Largest whale skeleton in the world found in Egypt

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Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Environment Ministry of Egypt found the largest whale skeleton in the world, dating back around 37 million years.

The remains were found in the natural protectorate of Siwa Oasis, located in the northeast of Egypt, about 80 kilometres from the Libyan border. The team are also working on another 150 new palaeontological excavation sites in the area.

The same excavation site also yielded remains of several other aquatic creatures, including whales, dugongs, giant sea turtles, and water snakes. Several shark teeth were also found.

The researchers are currently educating the residents of the oasis on how to care for the remains and preserve them, as well as to how eco-tourism workers should deal with the expected increase in tourists to Siwa Oasis.

Egypt is also home to Wadi Al-Hitan (Wale Valley) located in the Fayyum area close to Cairo. The site, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to hundreds of fossils of whales. The remains there show evidence for the evolution of whales from a land-based mammal to an ocean-going on.

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