Qasr el Sagha Formation

The Qasr el Sagha Formationis a geological formation located in Egypt[1] The formation is part of the Wadi El Hitan World Heritage Site. The Qasr el Sagha Formation overlies the Birket Qarun Formation and is overlain by the Gebel Qatrani Formation. The sandstones and shales of the formation were deposited in a deltaic to shallow marine environment.[2] It dates to the Late Eocene (middle Priabonian, 37.2 to 33.9 million years ago).[3]

Quasr el Sagha Formation
Stratigraphic range: Priabonian
~37–34 Ma
TypeGeological formation
Sub-unitsDir Abu Lifa & Temple Members
UnderliesGebel Qatrani Formation
OverliesBirket Qarun Formation
LocationFayum District
Coordinates29°30′N 30°30′E / 29.5°N 30.5°E / 29.5; 30.5Coordinates: 29°30′N 30°30′E / 29.5°N 30.5°E / 29.5; 30.5
Approximate paleocoordinates24°54′N 26°30′E / 24.9°N 26.5°E / 24.9; 26.5
Country Egypt
ExtentWadi El Hitan
Qasr el Sagha Formation is located in Egypt
Qasr el Sagha Formation
Qasr el Sagha Formation (Egypt)

Paleontological significanceEdit

Fossils of the early whale genus Saghacetus ("Sagha whale", originally named "Zeuglodon osiris") were first collected at Qasr al Sagha by German explorer Georg August Schweinfurth in January 1886 (a well-preserved dentary).Saghacetus is common in the middle of Qasr el Sagha, but there are few other specimens of archaeocetes whales; the only exception being the enigmatic "Prozeuglodon stromeri", named in 1828 based on specimens from 1904, but never adequately described before their destruction during the bombing of Munich in World War II.[4]

Fossil contentEdit

Other fossils found in the formation include:[5]

See alsoEdit



  • Gingerich, Philip D.; Mohammed Sameh M. Antar, and Iyad S. Zalmout. 2019. Aegicetus gehennae, a new late Eocene protocetid (Cetacea, Archaeoceti) from Wadi Al Hitan, Egypt, and the transition to tail-powered swimming in whales. PLoS ONE 14. e0225391. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0225391 PMID 31825956 PMC 6905522
  • A. Pérez-García. 2019. New information and establishment of a new genus for the Egyptian Paleogene turtle ‘Stereogenys’ libyca (Podocnemididae, Erymnochelyinae). Historical Biology 31(3):383-392
  • S. Adnet, H. Cappetta, S. Elnahas and A. Strougo. 2011. A new Priabonian Chondrichthyans assemblage from the Western desert, Egypt: Correlation with the Fayum oasis. Journal of African Earth Sciences 61:27-37
  • Gingerich, Philip D (2007). "Stromerius nidensis, new archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Upper Eocene Qasr El-Sagha Formation, Fayum, Egypt" (PDF). Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology. 31 (13): 363–78. OCLC 214233870.
  • Vickers-Rich, Patricia; Rich, Thomas Hewitt V. (1993). Wildlife of Gondwana. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-7301-0315-3.