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The Egyptian Scarab (Dung beetle)

You can’t visit Egypt without seeing the scarab’s souvenirs sold everywhere. The beetle is depicted all over the tombs and the ancient temples. It symbolized good luck in ancient times, also used to be one of the images of the sun god Ra by the ancient Egyptians.

The ancient Egyptian found this relationship between the sun and the beetle when the beetle was seen rolling dung and forming it in the form of a ball and then pushing it to under the ground. Also, it was noticed that the baby beetle comes out from this dung ball after beeing kept inside by the mother which represents a new life exactly like the sun god Ra which was the supreme god of ancient Egypt and also was in charge of giving life. It gave good luck to whom it appears in the early morning giving him a new life. The name of the beetle in ancient Egypt was “Khe-Ber” means “existence”.

Dung beetles are beetles that feed partly or exclusively on feces. All the species belong to the superfamily Scarabaeoidea; most of them to the subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae of the family Scarabaeidae (scarab beetles). As most species of Scarabaeinae feed exclusively on feces, that subfamily is often dubbed true dung beetles.

The dung beetles are so essential for life on our planet. Many dung beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or brooding chambers. Other dung beetles, known as tunnelers, bury the dung wherever they find it. A third group, the dwellers neither roll nor burrow: they simply live in manure. They are often attracted by the dung burrowing owls collect. These operations are meant to keep life going on our planet as rolling dung keeps seeds of planets in a good fertile condition while burying dung keeps the land fertile and puts seeds under for growing.

Dung beetles are currently the only animal, other than humans, known to navigate and orient themselves using the Milky Way.

Posted in Ancient Egypt Mythology, Egypt Travel Guide

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