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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Ibis


IBIS, noun [Gr. and Latin ] A fowl of the genus Tantalus, and grallic order, a native of Egypt. The bill is long, subulated, and somewhat crooked; the face naked, and the feet have four toes palmated at the base. This fowl was much valued by the Egyptians for destroying serpents. It is said by Bruce not now to inhabit Egypt, but to be found in Abyssinia.

The ibis of the Egyptians is a species of the genus Scolopax. It was anciently venerated either because it devoured serpents, or because the marking of its plumage resembled one of the phases of the moon, or because it appeared in Egypt with the rising of the Nile.

The ibis is common in Egypt during the overflowing of the Nile.