The Ibis in myth, science and palaeontology

“Every one has heard of the Ibis, the bird to which the ancient Egyptians paid religious worship; which they brought up in the interior of their temples, which they allowed to stray unharmed trough their cities, and whose murderer, even though involuntary, was pnished by death; which they embalmed with as much care as their own parents.” (CUVIER 1831)

By studying the artificial mummified remains of animals recovered from Egyptian tombs French naturalists hoped to clarify a fundamental question: can animal species change over vast periods of time?

3.000 years seemed time enough for these men, little could they know of the dimensions of true geological time… The Ibis in myth, science and palaeontology.

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