DR Campbell Price can recount many a happy childhood afternoon spent at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

He would skip through the doors with his grandparents and make a beeline for the same exhibit time and again: an Egyptian mummy. "I remember the smell of antiquity, going to the Egyptian section and seeing the mummy on display," he says. "I thought: 'Wow, this is what I want to do with my life ...'"

Spool forward to the present day and Price, 31, is the curator of Egypt and Sudan at Manchester Museum – a passion he credits as being ignited by those visits as a youngster.

He has overseen a raft of fascinating and intriguing objects including bound crocodiles, entombed cats and mummified jackals that are part of a touring exhibition, Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed, which opens at Kelvingrove today.

Billed as a myth-busting display, it features more than 60 mummies and will explore how ancient Egyptians used and prepared animals in their millions as votive offerings to the gods.

This is the first exhibition of its kind in the UK. It opened in Manchester last year and after Glasgow will head for Liverpool.

Gifts for the Gods brings together highlights from Glasgow's archaeological collection alongside rarely seen pieces from Manchester Museum including stone sculpture, bronze statuettes and 19th-century artworks.

There is a gilded ibis mummy case from the Ptolemaic period on loan from the Burrell Collection and an ibis mummy from Perth Museum and Art Gallery that Price describes as having been somewhat "pimped" decoratively in more modern times.

Visitors begin their journey by stepping back in time to ancient Egypt, a scene with a backdrop of lush greenery as opposed to the dusty, sand-strewn landscape we typically associate it with.

The next gallery houses a catacomb: an atmospheric, narrow room lined with pots containing votive animal mummies and a shrine for worship where the spine-tingling chants of a priest ring out.