60ft fossil reveals whale within a whale then eaten by shark

40 million-year-old whale found in Egypt

Updated: 
60ft fossil reveals whale within a whale eaten by shark


A 40-million-year-old whale fossil has been discovered in Egypt.

The remains of the 60ft Basilosaurus were found in Wadi al-Hitan, know as the Valley of Whales.

The fossil was uncovered by an Egyptian research team, which also found the remains of a smaller whale inside the larger one.

The smaller whale could have been a foetus, but researchers are not ruling out the idea that it was eaten.

A collection of shark's teeth nearby also indicate that the larger whale itself became lunch to sharks after eating the smaller whale. A picture of the fossil has been uploaded to Egypt's Ministry of Environment Facebook page.

Wadi al-Hitan is a Unesco World Heritage Site, where fossils of giant whales have sat for millions of years.

Atlas Obscura reports that it was first discovered by scientists in 1902, and there has since been 10 fossilised whales found in the area.

Fossils of crocodiles and turtles have also been found at the site.

The Daily Mail reports that Dr Khaled Fahmy, Minister of Environment, confirmed the 60ft-long Basilosaurus fossil has been found, including the small vertebrae in the tail.

That makes it the only complete skeleton of the creature ever to be found in the world.

According to Wikipedia, Basilosaurus is a genus of early whale that lived 40 to 34 million years ago in the late Eocene.

The first fossil was discovered in the United States and was initially believed to be some sort of reptile, hence the suffix "saurus", but it was later found to be a marine mammal.


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