Paleophilatelie.eu is a focal point between Paleontology and Philately
Egypt 2008 "Environment Day - Wadi El-Hitan the oldest world Natural Heritage Site in Egypt"
|ID||Michel: 1820-1821 Scott: 2014a-2014b Stanley Gibbons: Yvert: UPU: EG005.08 Category: pF|
|Stamps in set||2 + 1 label in between|
- Basilosaurus bones/ Archaeoceti
30pt - sculpture representing a fossil whale.
|Size (width x height)||50x30 mm|
|Layout||50 stamps per sheet|
|Products||FDC x 1|
|Perforation||12,75 x 13,25|
|Issuing Authority||National Postal Organization of Egypt|
Al-Hitan, is a paleontological site in the Al Fayyum Governorate of Egypt, some
150 km southwest 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.
The fossils found at the site may not be the oldest but their great concentration in the area and the degree of their preservation is to the extent that even some stomach contents are intact. The presence of fossils of other early animals such as sharks, crocodiles, sawfish, turtles and rays found at Wadi El-Hitan makes it possible to reconstruct the surrounding environmental and ecological conditions of the time, adding to its justification to be cited as a Heritage site.
The first fossil skeletons of whales were discovered in the winter of 1902-3. For the next 80 years they attracted relatively little interest, largely due to the difficulty of reaching the area. In the 1980s interest in the site resumed as four wheel drive vehicles became more readily available. Continuing interest coincided with the site being visited by fossil collectors, and many bones were removed, prompting calls for the site to be conserved. The remains display the typical streamlined body form of modern whales, yet retaining some of the primitive aspects of skull and tooth structure. The largest skeleton found reached up to 21 m in length, with well-developed five-fingered flippers on the forelimbs and the unexpected presence of hind legs, feet, and toes, not known previously in any archaeoceti.
Their form was serpentine and they were carnivorous. A few of these skeletal remains are exposed but most are shallowly buried in sediments, slowly uncovered by erosion. Wadi El-Hitan provides evidences of millions of years of coastal marine life.
Sheet (part of
Note: This page is incomplete, some info is missing. In case you have the any additional information please email to me.
Latest update 10.08.2012
Any feedback, comments or even complaints are welcome: email@example.com (you can email me on ENglish, DEutsch, or RUssian)