Egypt unveils rare whale fossil museum to boost tourism

VALLEY OF THE WHALES, Egypt (AP) — Egypt has unveiled what it says is the Middle East's first museum dedicated to fossils and showcasing an early form of whales, now extinct and known as the "walking whale." The museum opened Thursday near the Fayoum Oasis south of the capital, Cairo. It's the...

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              The largest intact Basulosaurus isis whale fossil, which is on display at the Wati El Hitan Fossils and Climate Change Museum, on the opening day, in the Fayoum oasis, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Egypt has cut the ribbon on the Middle East’s first fossil museum housing the world's largest intact skeleton of a

VALLEY OF THE WHALES, Egypt (AP) — Egypt has unveiled what it says is the Middle East's first museum dedicated to fossils and showcasing an early form of whales, now extinct and known as the "walking whale."

The museum opened Thursday near the Fayoum Oasis south of the capital, Cairo. It's the latest effort by the authorities to attract much-needed tourists, driven away by recent militant attacks.

The centerpiece of the Fossils and Climate Change Museum, is an intact, 37-million-year-old and 20-meter-long skeleton of a legged form of whale that shows how modern-day whales evolved from land mammals.

Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy says the paleontological display will attract a different kind of tourist from those who come for the beaches and pharaonic antiquities.

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