Wadi El Hitan

Wadi El Hitan

Wadi Al-Hitan (Arabic: وادي الحيتان‎, "Valley of the Whales") is a paleontological site in the Faiyum Governorate of Egypt, some 150 kilometres (93 mi) south-west of Cairo. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2005 for its hundreds of fossils of some of the earliest forms of whale, the archaeoceti (a now extinct sub-order of whales). The site reveals evidence for the explanation of one of the greatest mysteries of the evolution of whales: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. No other place in the world yields the number, concentration and quality of such fossils, as is their accessibility and setting in an attractive and protected landscape. This is why it was added by the UNESCO to the list of protected World Heritage Sites.

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