Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Aegyptocetus tarfa

The fossil of this early primitive whale was found cut into multiple slabs from a marbleized limestone imported in Italy. Put back together, it reveals an unusual Protocetid whale with a peculiar skull angled more like the Remingtonocetids such as Remingtonocetus and Dalanistes than the other protocetids and the basilosaurids. Bite marks on the ribs indicated that this particular individual was attacked by a large shark. The fossil came from the Gebel Hof Formation (Middle Eocene) of Wadi Tarfa in the Eastern Desert of Egypt.

Original artworks on Paleoexhibit are copyrighted to Nobu Tamura. Do not use without permission (Email: nobu dot tamura at yahoo dot com)


G. Bianucci and P. D. Gingerich. 2011. Aegyptocetus tarfa, n. gen. et sp. (Mammalia, Cetacea), from the middle Eocene of Egypt: clinorhynchy, olfaction, and hearing in a protocetid whale. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(6):1173-1188

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