Friday, June 1, 2012

Wadi Hitan, the Valley of Whales

In the Egyptian desert is a place called Wadi Hitan, an eroded mass of rock that was once on the bottom of a shallow sea. Among the denizens of that sea were the early whales known as Basilosaurus.

Wadi Hitan has produced dozens of Basilosaurus skeletons, making it one of the key sites for the study of whale evolution.

The vestigial hind limb of a Basilosaurus, a remnant of its ancestors' life on land.

Nummulites and other fossil sea creatures. Great National Geographic feature on Wadi Hitan here.

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