Oct 19, 2010

The Wild Canines of Egypt

Cats and dogs have a special history in Egypt, and both were considered manifestations of gods. The principal cat goddess was Bastet, while the principal dog god was Anubis. Other canine deities included Input, who was the female counterpart of Anubis, Wepwawet, one of Egypt's oldest jackal gods, and of course, Seth, who could take on the appearance of a dog at times.

Dogs and Foxes, in the family Canidae, number thirty five species worldwide, with six of these in Egypt. They differ widely in Egypt, ranging from the Fennec Fox to the Wolf. In general, wolves are relatively larger than foxes.

Wolves are much more difficult to distinguish from Jackals, and according to one expert, the best distinction in the field is their gait. Wolves lope while jackals trot. At one time there was also a seventh species of dog in Egypt, the African Wild Dog, but it became extinct from the country during the early Dynastic Period.

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