Saudi unearths remains of a whale extinct 37 million years ago

Saudi unearths remains of a whale extinct 37 million years ago

Researchers at the Saudi Geological Survey have discovered the remains of a whale that went extinct 37 million years ago. The traces were found in the Kingdom’s northern region of Al-Jawf Province, within an area that’s now filled with sand and rocky mountains. 


The discovery was made public this week, and holds local and global significance to both Saudi Arabia’s history and that of the entire Arabian Peninsula. Unearthing marine fossils in the desert can build a clearer timeline for international scientists and archaeologists.

According to Abdullah Al-Shamrani, CEO of the Saudi Geological Survey, this historical fossil discovery is of utter importance as it dates back to the Upper Eocene era (54 to 33 million years ago) and is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. Such findings greatly serve the Kingdom’s research and scientific works, especially in the field of fossils, in terms of their significance at a global level. These uncoverings enrich the scientific field based on what they represent from a historical fossil depth that reveal the secrets of geological ages and ancient marine environments.


This follows multiple discoveries unveiled in the Kingdom in the past years, as remains of a dog that’s believed to have lived alongside humans until mid to old age were found in AlUla in March, dating back to the 5th and 4th millennia BCE. The signature of Rameses III, the last Egyptian pharaoh to rule “a powerful and united Egypt during the New Kingdom,” was also found in 2010 in Tayma, a hub as old as 3,000 years for trades like metals and valuable goods.


Last update: 29 June 2021