May 22nd, 2010
65 million years ago, the Mediterranean sea was larger, and its coastline was located much further south than it is today. These warm waters and ancient mangrove forests were ruled by Basilosaurus, giant 60-foot-long sea mammals that were the ancestors of today's whales and dolphins.
The sea retreated, and eventually the ocean floor turned into the Egyptian desert. However, the skeletons of many of the great beasts were preserved as fossils. In the Valley of the Whales, this week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can walk on what was once an ancient seabed, and see the fossilized remains of Flipper's oldest relatives (h/t Bootsnall.) The fossils are the earliest known record of the whale family- some of them even still have the remnants of legs!
The Valley of the Whales
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