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Ancient Whale Species Discovered

Posted on 14 February 2020

A peculiar species of whale has been identified in the Egyptian desert, revealing a lot about how whales have developed. 

Believed to be 35 million years old, the fossilised specimen – known officially as Aegicetus gehennae – was first spotted in 2007. It has now been identified and catalogued by Dr Philip Gingerich from the University of Michigan in the US and his research team.  

The researchers believe this species marks the shift towards how modern whales move through the water. Unlike other species that came before it, Aegicetus gehennae didn’t use its feet to swim. The researchers have worked out that the ancient species swam in a similar way to modern crocodiles, using its body and tail.