Egyptian Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad announced on Wednesday that the ministry has discovered the fossils of a semiaquatic whale that lived 43 million years ago in what is now Egypt’s Fayoum governorate.
Fouad said the fossils are the oldest discovered in Africa, and that according to research, this whale was a predator that fed on other creatures.
This discovery was made in cooperation with the Whale Valley paleontological site team, the Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry and Mansoura University.
The minister added that examination of the fossils was conducted by researchers from Mansoura University.
Palaeontologists have named the semiaquatic whale after Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of death.
The newly discovered species, dubbed Phiomicetus Anubis, walked on land and swam in the water, and had powerful jaw muscles.
This is the latest major discovery by Mansoura University’s palaeontology department, following its ground-breaking discovery in 2018 of the 80-million-year-old dinosaur Mansourasaurus in Dakhala Oasis.
Fayoum governorate already hosts the UNSECO World Heritage site Wadi Al-Hitan, or Whale Valley, which contains the fossilised remains of some of the earliest species of whales in the world.