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Ancient Egyptian animal mummies in new Smithsonian exhibit

17 November 2011 Last updated at 18:34 GMT

Ancient Egyptians believed that some animals were earthly manifestations of the gods they worshiped.

They also thought that animal sacrifices would please the deities and millions of birds, mammals and reptiles were killed - some to the point of extinction in Egypt.

They were then mummified and placed in catacombs or buried in tombs.

Some of those relics are now on display at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington DC in a new exhibition showcasing its largest collection of mummies.

Jane O'Brien went to take a look.