CAIRO: 93 vertebrate fossils, believed to date back 35-40 million years, were unearthed in Lake Qaroun Protectorate, southwest of Cairo, the Egyptian Environment Ministry announced Tuesday.
The terrestrial and marine vertebrate fossils were discovered in Gebel Qatrani area, south of Lake Qaroun Nature Reserve, stated Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy.
“The fossils include bone remains of jaws, teeth, thighs, tracheas and skulls of mammals, primates, reptiles and fishes. They fossils are being studied and restored before they will be placed on display at the museum of paleontology at Wadi al-Hitan Nature Preserve,” said Fahmy.
Head of the Central Administration of Nature Preserves Mohamed Tallat said the find is attributed to a team of experts from al-Mansoura University who surveyed over seven fossil fields at the area of Gebel Qatrani.
“The fossil fields date back to the Eocene and Oligocene geologic epochs,” he added.
Several fossils of ancient whales have been discovered in the Western Desert’s protectorate of Wadi El-Hitan, (Whale Valley), 170 kilometers south west of Cairo. The site is one of 8 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.
“Studies of these fossils of many species that dated back from 40 million years ago, have confirmed that the whales of today’s oceans evolved from an existence on land,” said Fahmy.
“This is the most important site in the world for the demonstration of this stage of evolution. It portrays vividly the form and life of these whales during their transition. The number, concentration and quality of such fossils here is unique, as is their accessibility and setting in an attractive and protected landscape,” according to UNESCO World Heritage Center.