Walking whale ancestor named after Egyptian god of death


An illustration of the semiaquatic “god of death” whale that lived more than 43 million years ago. (Image credit: Illustration by Robert W. Boessenecker)

A semiaquatic whale that lived 43 million years ago was so fearsome, paleontologists have named it after Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of death.

The newly discovered 10-foot-long (3 meters) species, dubbed Phiomicetus anubis, was a beast; When it was alive more than 43 million years ago, it both walked on land and swam in the water and had powerful jaw muscles that would have allowed it to easily chomp down on prey, such as crocodiles and small mammals, including the calves of other whale species. 


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