The Sacred Dung Beetles of Ancient Egypt

The spiritual scarab or kheper of old Egypt was the dung beetle, an insect that lives off the waste of vegetarian animals. It was seen as a version of the sun god Khepri, and its name was part of several royal tags, consisting of Men-kheper-re and Kheper-ka-re. The scarab ornament located on mommies and now gotten by travelers in Egypt is a tribute to this humble bug.

Let’s meet the beetles. Researchers have identified concerning 30,000 scarab varieties– that has to do with one-tenth of all beetles currently known. Scarabs live on every continent other than Antarctica. They can be tiny (0.08 inches) or HUGE– the Hercules beetle can grow to be 6.7 inches long.

Yet not all scarabs are dung beetles, whose scientific name is Kheper nigroaeneus. Those men are unique. All they eat is undigested matter in the waste of pets like cows, lamb, and camels. The fresher it is, the even more they like it, because they can draw out the liquids. Some species delve right into it, however others develop spheres with it. The male makes a perfect round and also, if he’s lucky, a female assists him roll it off to a great area where they hide it and also begin a household.

Well, she begins it. He goes off to discover various other ladies. Mom stays at home as well as seals the ball with spit and maybe her own poop. She could even make more dung spheres. Then she lays one egg in each, and her young hatch as well as mature inside the balls, feeding off the nutrients up until they arise. (Does your room appear a lot nicer all of a sudden?)

So why did Egyptians praise scarabs? They appointed gods to all kinds of things, and they saw the young beetles arising from their round dung balls as icons of the sunlight, which is additionally spherical as well as emerges daily.

So when visitors purchase scarabs based on King Tut’s fashion jewelry, they’re paying their aspects to dung beetles. And also who would not?

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