In the desert valley of Wadi al-Hitan, some 150 km southwest of Cairo, Egypt has unveiled what it said is the Middle East’s first museum dedicated to fossils that showcases an early form of whales, now extinct and known as the “walking whale.”
The Valley of the Whales
Wadi Al-Hitan in Egypt’s Western Desert is the only place in the world where the skeletons of families of archaic whales can be seen in their original geological and geographic setting of the shallow nutrient-rich
bay of a sea of some 40 million years ago. The fossils and sediments of different periods and levels reveal many millions of years of life and are valuable indications of the palaeoecologic conditions, of Eocene vertebrate and invertebrate life and the evolution of these ancestors of modern whales. Remarkably, two species still had small hind limbs, feet and toes.