The Cultural Impact of Reptiles

As long as humans have walked the earth their path has been intertwined and connected to those of other animals. However, few other creatures have had more influence on human religion and culture than have the reptiles.

Alligators and Crocodiles as Deities and Urban Legends

In Native American and African American folklore, the alligator is revered, especially the teeth, which can be worn as a charm against witchcraft and poison.

Urban legend has it that full-grown alligators exist in the sewers of cities like New York City. As the story goes, people buy baby alligators as pets eventually flushing them down the toilet to get rid of them. In such a situation, alligators could not survive, however, because without UV rays from sunlight, alligators cannot properly metabolize calcium (which they would get from the sewer rats that myth states is their food source), resulting in metabolic bone disease and eventually death.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods among them was Sobek. With a human body and a crocodile head, Sobek was an attempt to pacify crocodiles so as to reduce the danger they posed. He later came to represent the fertility of the Nile and a cult complete with temples arose in his name. As testament to his importance, mummified crocodiles have been found in the tombs of members of the Egyptian hierarchy.

Read full story HERE.

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About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
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