Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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4. Some of the selachea also appear to whistle, but thq
cannot be correctly said to utter a voice, only to make i
sound. The pect^ also make a whixzing noise when the^
are borne upon the sur&ce of the water, or flying, as it ii
called ; and so do the sea-swallows,* for they also fly througl
the air in the same way, not touching the sea, for they havi
wide and lon^ fins. As the sound made by birds flvin)
through the air is not a voice, so neither can either of thea
be properly so called. The dolphin also utters a whiatl
and lows wnen it comes out of the water into the air» in
diflTerent way from the animals above-mentioned— for thi
is a true voice, for it has lungs and a trachea, but its tonra
is not free, nor has it any li^ so as to make an aiticnbt

5. The oviparous quadrupeds, with a tongue and Inngi
> !EVi|ki Itts. • Cottna esttplirtcUii. * 2tu Ubm


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utter a aoimd, though it ib a weak one. Some of them hiss
like serpents ; others have a small weak Toice, others, as tho
toBtoise, utter a small hiss. The ton^e of the frog is pe*
culiar, for the fore-part of it is fixed, like that of a fisn ; hut
the part near the pharynx is free and folded up. With this it
utters its peculiar sound. The male frogs make a croaking
in the water when they invite the females to coition.

6. All animals utter a voice to invite the society and proxi-
mity of their kind, as the hog, the goat, and the sheep. The
frog croaks by making its lower jaw of equal length, and
stretching the upper one above the water. Their eyes ap-
pear like lights, their cheeks being swelled out with the
vehemence of their croaking ; for their copulation is gene-
rally performed in the night. The class of birds utter a
voice: those which have a moderatelv wide tongue have the
best voice; those also in which the tongue is thin. In
some kinds both male and female have the same voice ; in
others it is different : the smaller kinds have moro variety
in their voice, and make more use of it, than the larger

7. All birds become more noisy at the season of coition.
Some utter a ay when they are fighting, as the quail ; others
when the^jT a^o going to fight, as the partridge ; or when thev
have obtuned a victory, as the cock. In some kinds both
male and female sing, as the nightingale ; but the femide
nightingale does not sing while she is sitting or feeding her
young : in some the males alone, as the quail and the cock ;
the female has no voice. Viviparous quadrupeds utter dif-
ferent voices ; none can speak — for this is the characteristic
of man, for all that have a language have a voice, but not
an that have a voice have also a lanpiage.

8. All that are bom dumb, and im children, utter sounds,
but have no language; for, as children are not complete in
their other parts, so their tongue is not perfect at nrst ; it
becomes more tree afterwards, so that they stammer and '
lira. Both voices and language differ in different places.

9. The voice is most conspicuous inits acuteness or depth,
but the form does not differ in the same species of animals;
tlie mode of articulation differs, and this might be called
•peech, for it differs in different animals, and in the same

k in diffeiailplaoeii as among partddges, for in some


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places tbey cackle, in othera whistle. Small birds do not utter
the same voice as their parents, if they are brought up away
from them, and have only heard other singling biras. For the
nightingale has been observed instructing her young, so
that the voice and speech are not naturaUv alike, but are
capable of formation. And men also have all the same voice,
however much they may differ in lan^;uage. The elephant
utters a voice by breathing through its mouth, making no
use of its nose, as when a man breathes forth a sigh ; but
with its nose it makes a noise like the hoarse sound of a


1. CoKCKBiavo the sleep and wakefulness of animals. It is
quite manifest that all viviparous animals with feet both
sleep and are awake ; for all that have eyelids sleep with the
eyes closed ; and not only men anpear to dream, but horses,
oxen, sheep, goats, dogs, and aii viviparous quadrupeds.
Dogs show this by barking in their sleep. It is not clear
whether oviparous animals dream, but it is quite plain that
they sleep.

2. Ana so it is in aquatic animals, as fish, the malacia,
the malacoetraca, the carabi, and such like creatures. The
sleep of all these animals is short: it is plain tliat they dosleep,
though we can form no conclusion from their eyes, for tiiey
have no eyelids, but from their not being alarmed ; for if
fish are not tormented with lice, and what are caUed psylli,
they may be captured without alarming them, so that tliey
can be even taken with the hand. And if fidi remain at
rest during the night a great multitude of these creatures
fall upon and devour them.

8. They are found in such numbers at the bottom of the
aea as to devour any bait made offish that remains any length
of time upon the cround ; fishermen frequently draw th«n
out hanging like globes around the bait. The following con-
siderations will serve still more to confirm our suppositions
that fishes sleep ; for it is often possible to fall upon the
fish so stralthily as to take by the hand, or even strike them
during this time ; they are quite quiet, and exhibit no signs,
of motion except with their tails, whidi they move gentty.
I^ is evident^ also, that they sleep, from their starting if


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injihing mores whfle they are asleep, for ihej start as if
Hbej were waked out of sleep.

4. Thej are also taken by torcUight whfle asleep ; those
who are seeking for th jnni snrround them while asleep ; it is
erident that they can be ca{>tared from their stillness, and
the half-open white (of their eyes). They sleep more by
night than by day, so that they -do not more when they are
stnick; they generally sleep holding by the ground, or the
sand, or a stone, at the bottom, concealing themselyes he*
neath a rock, or a portion of the shore. The flat fishes
sleen in the sand; they are recognized by their form
in the sand, and are taken br striking them with a spear
with three points. The laorax, chrysophrys, cestrais,
and such-like fish are often taken with the same kind of
weapon while asleep in the day time, but if not taken then,
none of them can be captured with such a spear.

5. The selache sleen so soundly that they mar be taken
with the hand ; the dolphin, whale, and all that nave a blow-
hole, sleep with this organ abore the surfiice of the sea, so
that they can breathe, while gently moring their fins, and
some persons have even heard the dolphin snore. The ma*
lacia sleep in the same manner as fish, and so do the mala-
costraca. It is erident from the following considerations
that insects sleep ; for they evidently remain at rest without
motion ; this is particularly plain in bees, for they remain

3uiet, and cease to hum during the night. This is also evi«
ent from those insects with which we are most familiar,
for they not only remain quiet during the night because
they cannot see oistinctly, for all creatures with hard eyes
have indistinct vision, but they seem no less quiet when
the light of a lamp is set before them*

6. Man sleeps the most of all animals. Inftnts and
young children do not dream at all, but dreaming begins in:
most at about four or five years old. There have been men
and women who have never dreamt at all ; sometimes such*
persons, when they have advanced in age, begin to drean ;.
this has preceded a change in their body, either for deaUi
or infirmity. ThiSy then, is the manner of sensatjop, deep
and wakeralness.


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Chapteb XL

1. Lr some animalB the sexes are distinct, In otbers iiiej are
not so, these are said to beget and be with young by a bke-
ness to other creatures, l^ereis neither male nor female
in fixed animals, nor in testacea. In the malacia and
malacoB^ttca there are male and female indiTiduals, and in
all animals with feet) whether they have two or four, which
produce either an animal, an egg, or a worm from coition.

2. In other kinds the sexes are either single or not sbgle ;
as in all quadrupeds there is the male ana female, in tibie
testacea it is not so, for as some yegetables are fertile and
others barren, so it is in these. Among insects and fishes
there are some that have no differences of this kind, as the
eel is neither male nor female, nor is anything produced
from them.

3. But those persons who say that some eels appear to
have creatures hke worms, of the size of a hair, attached to
them, speak without observation, not having seen how they
really are ; for none of these creatures are viviparous with-
out being first oviparous, none of them have ever been ob-
served to contain ova; Ihose that are viviparous have the
embryo attached to the uterus, and not to tne abdomen, for
there it would be digested like food. The distinction made
between the so-called male and female eel that the male has
a larger and longer head, and that the head of the femde
is smaller, and more rounded, is a generic, and not a sexual

4. There are some fish called epitragis, and among freeh*
water fish the cyprinus and balagrus are of the same nature,
which never have ova or semen ; those which are firm and
ftt, and have a small intestine, appear to be the best.
There are creatures, such as the testacea, and plants, whidi
beset^ and produce young, but have no organ of ooitioii;
and so also in fishes the pectus,' erythrhinus,* and the ffaanna.
All these appear to have ova.

6. In sanguineous animals with feet that are not evipi^
reus, the males are goierally larger and longer lived mok

< Fknaronaotoi Lingua aad Bhonlms.
* Pflrea nariBS, or Bpans «itliria«St


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100 THB HI8T0BT 07 AITUCALS. [b, IT.

the femaleSy except die hemionii8« but tlie females of this
animsl are both larger and longer lived : in oTiparoos and
Tiriparons animals, as in fish, and insects, the females are
larger than the males, as the serpent^ phalangium,' ascala-
botes,* and frog ; in fish likewise, as m most of the small
gregarious selache, and all that inhabit rocks.

6. It is evident that female fishes have longer lives than
males, because females are caught of a greater age than the
males ; the upper and more forward ^urts of all animals
are larger and stronger, and more firmly built in the male ;
the hinder and lower parts in the female. This is the case
in the human subject, and all viviparous animals with feet :
the female is less sinewy, the jomts are weaker, and the
hairs finer, in those with hair; in those without hair, its
analogues are of the same nature ; the female has softer
flesh and weaker knees than the male, the legs are slighter;
the feet of females are more graceful, in all that have
these members.

7. All females, also, have a smaller and more acute voice
than the males, but in oxen the females utter a deeper sound
than the males; the parts denoting strength, as tne teeth,
tusks, horns, and spurs, and such other jwrts, are possessed

. bj the males, but not by the females, as the roe-deer has
none, and the hens of some birds with spurs have none;
the sow has no tusks : in some animals they exist in both
sexes, only stronger and longer in the malesy as the horns of
baQi are stronger than those of oowB.

'IrsBeatanHiitak. . *Lie«taQitto.


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fe. T.] THB HIBTOBT 01* AVIMALI. 101


Chapteb I.

1. Wx hareliitlierto treated of the external and internal
parts of all animals, of their senses, voice, and sleep, with
the distinctions between the males and females ; it remains
to treat of their generation, speaking first of those which
come first in order, for they are many, and have numerous
varieties, partly dissimilar, and partly like each other. And
we will pursue the same order in considering them as we
did before in their division into classes ; we commenced our
consideration bv treating of the parts in man, but now he
must be treated of last, because he is much more intricate.

2. We shall begin with the testacea, and after these treat
of tlie malacostraca, and the others in the order of their
succession. These are the midacia and insects, next to
these fishes, both viviparous and oviparous ; next to them
birds, and afterwards we must treat of animals with feet,
whether viviparous or oviparous ; some viviparous creatures
have four feet, man alone nas two feet. The nature of ani-
mals and vegetables is similar, for some are produced finim
the seed of other plants, and others are of spontaneous
crowth, being derived from some ori^ of a similar nature.
Some of them acquire their nourishment from tiie soil,
others from diflferent plants, as it was observed when treat-

re produced firom animals of
others is spontaneous, and
1 these and from plants are
)m putrid matter, this is the
ers originate in the animals
rementitious matter in their
om similar animals, and have
om coition, but of thedassof
lale nor female, these bekms
, but to different genera, and
»me there are females bat no
ontinued as in thehypsDeaiia


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102 THB niBTOBT 01 JJflUAJM. [b. T«

4. All these among birds are barren, (for nahire is
able to complete them as far as the formation of an egg,)
nnless persons suppose that there is another methoa of
communicating the male influence, concerning which we
shall speak more plainly hereafter. In some fish, after the
spontaneous production of the ovum, it happens that liying
matures are produced, some b^ themselres, others bjr the
aid of the mate. Hie manner m which this is done will be
made plain in a future place, for nearly the same things take
place in the class of birds.

5. Whatever are produced spontaneously in living crea-
tures, in the earth, or in plants, or in any part of them,
have a distinction in the sexes, and by the union of the
sexes something is produced, not the same in any respect^
but an imperfect animal, as nits are produced from lice,
and from flies and butterflies are produced egg -like
worms, from which neither similar creatures are pKKluced,
nor any other creature, but such things only. First of
all, then, we will treat of coition, and of the animals that
copulate, and then of others, and successively of that which
is peculiar to each, and that which is common to them alL

Chaptbb IL

1. Thosb animals in which there is a distinction of the
sexes use sexual intercourse, but the mode of this intercourse
is not the same in all, for all the males of sanguineous
animals with feet have an appropriate organ, but they do
not all approach the female mthe same manner, but those
which are retromingent) as the lion, the hare, and the lynx,
unite backwards, and the female hare often mounts upon
the male ; in almost all the rest the mode is the same, for
most animals perform theact of intercourse in the same way,
the male mounting upon the female $ and birds poform
h in this way only.

2. There are, however, some variations evenamong birds;
fat tiie male sometimes unites with the female as Ae sits
upon the ground, fm the bustard and domestic fowlt in
onen, the female does not sit upon tiie ^pround, as the
enme; fbr in tiiese birds the male unites with the female
standing tm\ and the act is performed very ouickly,as in
cpaoows. Sean lie down during the act of i n tere our ss^


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B. T.] THB HIBTOBT 07 AimCALa. 103

whicli is perfoimed in tbe same manner as in those tbat
stand on their feet, the abdomen of the male being placed
upon the back of the female : in the hedgehogs, tbe abdo-
mens of both sexes are in contact.

8. Among the large animals, the roe-deer seldom admits
the stag, nor the cow the bull, on account of the hardness
of the penis ; but the female receives the male by sub-
mission. This has been obsenred to take place in tame
deer. The male and female wolf copulate lifce dogs. Cats
do not approach each other backwanis, but the male stands
erect, and the female places herself beneath him. The fe-
males are yerj lascivious, and invite the male, and make a
noise during the intercourse.

4. Camels copulate as the female is Ijing down, and the
male embraces and unites with her, not backwards, but like
other animals. They remain in intercourse a whole day.
They retire into a desert place, and suffer no one to ap-
proach them but their feeder. The penis of the camel is so
strong, that bowstrings are made of it. Elephants also
retire into desert places for intercourse, especudly by the
sides of rivers which they usually frequent. The female
bends down and di\ides her legs, and the male mounts upon
her. The seal copulates like retromincent animals, and is a
long while about it, like dogs. The mides have a large penis.

Chaptbb III.

1. Otipaboub quarupeds with feet copulate in the
manner : in some, the male mounts upon the female, like
Tivipnrous animals, as in the marine and land turtle, for
they have an intromittent organ by which they adhere toge^
ther, as the trygon and frog, and all such animals.

2. But the apodous long animals, im serpents and mn*
mna, are folded toffetfaer, with the abdom^fis opposite, and
serpents roll themsdves together so dosdv, ^oat tibey seem
to De bntone serpent with two heads. The manner JT^ia
whole race of saorians is the same, for thcj nmte togeCher
in the same kind of fold.

Ciupm ly,
L All fish, except tiie flat adache, perfinrm the aet of
intareonrse by approaohiBg each other wiUi their T '


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oppoeite: but the flat fish, with tails, as the batos, trygon,/
and such like, not onlj approach each other, but the male ~
q>plie8 his abdomen to the back of the female, in all those
in which the thickness of the tail offers no impediment. '
But the rhin», and those which have a large tail, perform
the act by the firiction of their abdomens against eacn other,
and some persons say that they haye seen the nude sekche
united to tne back of the female, like doni.

2. In all those that resemble the selache, the female is
larger than the male; and in nearly all fish the female is
lai^ than the male. The selache are those which have
be^ mentioned; and the bos, lamia, eetus, narce, batnu
chuB, and all the galeode. All the selache haye been fre*
quently observed to conduct themselves in this way. In all
viviparous creatures the act occupies a longer time than in
the oviparous. The dolphin ancl the cetacea also perform
the act in the same manner, for the male attaches himself to
the female for neither a very long, nor a very short time.

3. The males of some of the fish which resemble the
■elache differ from the females, in having two appendages
near the anus, which the females have not, as in the giue-
odea; for these appenda|;es exist in them aU. Neither fish
nor any other apcKud ammal has testicles, but the males,
both of serpents and of fish, have two passages, which be-
come full of a seminal fluid at the season of coition ; and all
of them project a milky fluid. These passages unite in one,
as they do in birds ; for birds have two internal testes, and
so have all oviparous animals with feet. In the act of
coition this single passage passes to, and is extended upon
the pudendum and receptacle of the female.

4. In viviparous animals with feet, the external passage
for the semen and the fluid excrement is the same: inter-
nally these passa^ are distinct, as I said before in descri-
bing the distinctive parts of animals. In animals which
have no bladder, the anus is extemaUy united with the.
passsce of tiie semen, internally the passages are dose
together; and this is the same in both sexes: for none of
of them^ have a bladder, except the tortoise. The female of
tills animal, though furnished irith a bladder, has but ime
pasnge ; but the tortoise is oviparous.

* 5. Xbe sexual interoouTid of the oviparous flsh is less evident^


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wherefore many persons suppose that the female is impreg-
nated by swallowiDg the semen of the male ; and tbej ha?e
been frequently observed to do this. This is seen at the
season of coition, when the females follow the males, and are
observed to strike them on the abdomen with their mouthsi
this causes the males to eject their semen more rapidly.
The males do the same with the ova of the females, for they
swallow them as thev are extruded, and the fish are bom
from those ova which remain.

6. In Phoenicia they use each sex for capturing the other ;
for having taken the male cestreus, they entice the females
with it, and so enclose them in a net. They use the females
in the same way for catching the males. The frequent obser-
vation of these circumstances appears to corroborate this
manner of intercourse among them. Quadrupeds also do
the same thing, for at the season of coition both sexes emit
a fluid, and smell to each other's pudenda.

7. And if the wind blows from the cock partridge to
the hen, these last are impregnated ; and often, if they hear
the voice of the cock when they are inclined for sexual
intercourse, or if he flies over them, they become pregnant
from the breath of the cock. During the act of intercourse,
both sexes open their mouths, and protrude their tongues.
The true intercourse of oviparous nsh is rarely obs^ved,
from the rapidity vrith which the act is accomplished ; for
their intercourse has been observed to take place in the
manner described.

CHAPm y.

1. All the malacia, as the polypus, oepia, and teuthis,
approach each other in the same manner, ror they are united
mouth to mouth ; the tentacula of one sex being adapted to
those of the other ; for when the polypus has fixed the part
called the head upon the grouno, it extends its tentacula,
which the other adi^ts to the expansion of its tentacula,
and they make their acetabula answer together. And some
persons say that the male baa an organ uke a penis in that
one of its tentacula which contains the two largest aceta-
bula. This organ is sinewy, as fiur as the middle of the ten*
taculum, and u&ey say that it is all inserted into the noetiil


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2. The tepia and loligo swim about coiled together in this
waj, and with their mouths and tentacuk united, they swim
in contraij directions to each other. They adapt the organ
called the nostril of the male to the similar organ in the
female; and the one swims forwards, and the other hack*
wards. The ova of the female are produced in the part
called the physeter, by means of which some persons say
that they copulate.

Chapteb VI.
1. The malacostraca, as the carabi, astaci, carides, and such
like perform the act of intercourse like the retromingent
animals, the one lying upon its back, and the other placing
its tail upon it. They copulate on the approach of spring,
near the land ; for their sexual intercourse has often been
observed, and sometimes when the figs begin to ripen.

2. The astaci and the carides perform the act in the same
manner ; but the carcini approximate the fore part of their
bodies to each other, and adapt also the folds of their tails to
each other. First of all, the smaller carcinus mounts from
behind, and when he has mounted, the greater one turns
on its side. In no other respect does the female differ
from the male, but that the tail, which is folded on the
body, is larger and more distant, and more thick set with
appendages : UDon this the ova are deposited, and the excre-
ment ejected. Neither sex is furnished with an intromittent

Chapteb VII.
1. Iksects approach each other from behind, and the
smaUer one subsequentlv mounts upon the lar^r. The
male is always the smaller. The female, which is below,
inserts a member into the male, which is above, and not the'
male into the female, as in other animals. In some kinds
this organ Appears large in proportion to the size of the-
body, especially in those that are small, in others it is less.
The organ may be plainly discerned if two flies are sepa-
rated while in the act of^ coition. They are separated £rom'
each other with difficultjr, for the act of intercourse in sudi
Animals occupies a long time. This may be plainl;^^ discerned,

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 11 of 39)