Monthly Archives: August 2015

A Day in the Whale Valley (Wadi al-Hitan, Egypt)

في مصر ولا يعرفه المصرين لان كل تركيز المصريين على حديقة الحيوان لا المعلومه واحياء الافكار الطفل يتعلم من حديقة الحيوان ان القوي يأكل الضعيف وان الحيوان نمهما كان قوي فهو تحت السيطره بما انه محبوس وان لا وقت ولا عمر ولا شجاعه من وراء القضبان

Sebastian D. Plötzgen

Surely, you remember that biology class on the cetacean evolution, where they told you that whales aren’t fish and that they actually emerged from some fancy land-based animal, do you? Wikipedia – could it be different? – has a brilliant sequence of that.

But let’s move to the real world: Some two hours south-west of Cairo, directly east of Fayyum Oasis, you can find Wadi al-Hitan, the Whale Valley (Tal der Wale in German). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the perfect spot to illustrate this evolutionary step from the history of the whales.

Entry sign of the Whale Valley historic site

Once upon a time, or more precisely some 40 million years ago, the area was covered by a sea called Thetys Ocean. But at some point in history, the ocean started to shrink and eventually disappeared. Today, the area is part of the Western Desert of Egypt and thank to its very…

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