Whale, look at the nightmare fuel researchers dug up in Egypt.
Scientists have unearthed a 43-million-year-old fossil of an extinct four-legged whale that once lived both on land and in the sea, making it amphibious.
This now-extinct four-legged whale once lived both on land and in the sea.
This particular ancient species was previously unknown to experts, but it’s part of a group of semiaquatic whales called protocetids, which existed during the Eocene period, according to findings published Wednesday in the
But the researchers behind the study believe the newly discovered fossil offers clues as to how whales transformed from land dwellers to the sea creatures we know today.
“All known protocetid whales had well-developed, non-reduced fore and hind limbs that could bear the animals’ weight outside of water, albeit probably awkwardly, as these animals were probably quite heavy,” Robert W. Boessenecker, co-author of the study, told HuffPost. “Think of seals and sea lions, for example.”
Egyptian paleontologists Mohammed Antar, Abdullah Gohar and Hesham Sallam sit around the fossils of the Phiomicetus anubis at Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology center.
What sets this four-legged creature apart from other protocetid whales is an impressively murderous, jackal-like jaw that allowed it to have a “raptorial feeding style,”
The P. anubis is named after Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god of death.
“We discovered how fierce and deadly its powerful jaws are capable of tearing a wide range of prey … this whale was a god of death to most of the animals that lived in its area,” Abdullah Gohar, lead author of the paper,
Despite how terrifying this carnivorous lord of demise may sound, the report said it’s only a “medium-sized” protocetid, which translates to about 10 feet in length and a weight of around 1,300 pounds.
The fossil was found in the Fayum Depression in Egypt’s Western Desert, which was once submerged underwater. German paleontologist
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