Dec 28, 2008

Long Live the King

The sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) is found throughout Africa and has been introduced into Europe, Asia, and even North America. They are gregarious wading birds that use those prodigious beaks to forage through wetlands.

Photo source: Gerhard

Why sacred? You can blame that on the ancient Egyptians. They were worshiped as the god Thoth, who was called upon to protect the country from plagues and serpents. Talk about high expectations. They might help with the occasional serpent, but plagues? Didn't help so much with a certain set of ten plagues...

But being considered sacred among ancient Egyptians was a double-edged sword. As a sacred ibis, you might one day finding yourself safe from human predation, given your sacred status. The next you might find yourself killed and mummified to be buried with a deceased Pharaoh. Perhaps it's from such scenarios that the term 'long live the king' was born.


Anonymous said...

He's pretty cute. I would kiss his head.

Denita TwoDragons said...

*looks at post above*

Um, thanks for the warning, Wombat...I'm just gonna...hang out here for a while...and admire the pretty birdie.


Or better yet, stare at my adorable newborn girl. Say hello to Uncle Wombat, little Tabitha...!


Sabina E. said...

jesus! I've never seen any birds like that. I love your blog and these amazing, unusual photos. Keep it coming!!!