Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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are round and circular at the sharp end are females.

8. They are matured by incubation. Some are hatched
spontaneously in the earth, as in Egypt, being buried in
dung; and they say that in Syracuse a drunkard placed eggs
beneath his mat, imd drank without ceasing unnl the eggs
were hatched ; and eggs placed in warm vessels have been
matured and hatched spontaneously.
' 4. The seminal fluid of all birds is white, like that of
other animals ; and when they copulate the female receivea
the male semen near tiie diaphragm. The egg at first appears
■mall and white, afterwards red imdUood^r ; as it grows it be*
comes ^uite ochreous and ydlow ; when it becomes larser a
distinction is made, and t£e internal part becomes ydlow,
the external white; and when it is perfected it la set at
Jiberty,^and excluded just at the period when it is changing
ttottk soft to hard, m that during exclusion it is not har*
1 Oueohii etnoriM. t yumjdi If e tosgriii


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dened ; but as soon as it is excluded it thickena and becomca
hard, unless it is diseased. And eggs hare been known to
be excluded in the state in which all egp are at a certain
period of their growth ; for they were entirely yellow, as the
jonng bird is afterwards. Such baye aho been obseryed in the
domestic fowl beneath the diophragm, where the eggs of the
ben are placed, entirely ^rellow, and as large as eggs usually
are. This has been considered ominous.

5. They are mistaken who say that the hypenemia (barren
eggs) are the remains of former acts of sexual intercourse ;
for young birds, as fowls and geese, haye been frequently
obs^red to lay such eggs without any sexual intercourse.
Barren eggs are smaller, not so sweet, and more fluid tlum
fertile eggs, and they are more numerous. If they are placed
under abird, the fluid part neyer thickens, but both the
Tolk and the white remain in their original state. Many
birds produce these eggs, as the domestic fowl, partridge,
pigeon, peafowl, goose, and chenalopex.'

6. E^ are hatched more reaoily in summer than in
winter ; lor in the summer the domestic fowl will hatch in
eighteen days, but in winter sometimes in not less than
twenty-flye days. Some birds also are more adapted for
incubation than others. A thunder-storm during the season
ct incubation will destroy the eggs. What are called cyno-
sora and uria (addled eggs) are more frequently produoMl
in the summer. The hypenemia* are by some persons called
xephyria, because they say that birds receiye tnese winds in
the spring. They do the same thing if the^ are touched
with the nand. The hypenemia become fertile; and eggs
that are produced by sexual intercourse are changed to an*
other kind, if the hen which contains either h3ri)enemia or
fertile eggs has sexual intercourse with another bird before*
the eggs begin to change from yellow to white, and the
bjpenemift become fertile, and the fertile eggs produce birds
of the nature of the second male.

7. But if the change from yellow to .white has alreadr
taken place, neither the barren nor the fertile eggs are af*
tered, so as to change to the nature of the second mab. Andif
the sexual interooiuve should be discontinued while the egga
aiesmally those wUoh existed prefiously undergo no changei

* OBbm tadovBap * Bggt ftmsd without Msual intareoonSi

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but if the act is repeated, a rapid increase in size takes place.
The nature of the white and yolk of the e^ is different, not
only in colour, but in other properties, for the yolk coa|u-
li^es with cold, while the white remains fluid, but the wmte
coagulates with heat, which the yolk does not, but remains
soft, if it is not burnt ; and it becomes consistent and dry
by boiling rather than roasting.

8. The white and yolk are separated from each other by
a membrane. The cnalazo) at the extremities of the yoUc
have nothing to do with generation, as some persons suppose.
These spots are two, one below and one abore. If many
whites and yolks of eggs are taken out, and mixed together
in a vessel, and cooked with a slow and moderate heat,
the yolks will all collect in the middle, and the whites will
surround them. Toung domestic fowls begin to lay eges at
the beginning of the sprint^; they lay more thanl^oee
which are older, but those of the young birds are smaller,
and if birds are not permitted to incubate, they are de-
stroyed and become sidr.

9. After copulation birds ruffle and shake themselTes,
and often coyer themselyes with chaff", and this also they do
when they haye laid. Pigeons draw up their toQ, geese

' go and bathe. The pregnancy and conception of baurren

, eggs is quick in most birds, as in the partrid^, on ac«

, count of the yiolence of their sexual desires ; for if the hen

stands in the wa^ of the breath of the male, she con-

'ceives, and immediately becomes of no use for fowling; for

! the partridge appears to haye a yery distinct smell. The

production of tne egg after copulation, and the production

~of the young b^ incubation, do not occupy the same lon^b

of time in afi burds, but yariee according to their sise. The

ogg of the domestic fowl is perfected in ten days aitet

,^xual intercourse, and that of the pigeon in a shorter time.

' Pigeons are able to retain their ecgs eyen in the act o(

|>aiturition. If they are disturbed by anything oceurring

an the neighbourhood of their nest, or a featiier be plucked

out, or if anything else troubles or disturbs them, thej le-

tain the efg they were about to lay.

10. This is peculiar to pigeons, and so is tiie following^:
for they kiss each other whrn the male is about to oumntt
or else they will not endue it The older bird fintgiTei


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142 THS HI8T0BT OT AmUALB. [b. TI«

a kiss, but afterwards he mounts without kissing, but
youn^ birds idways kiss before copuhition. This also ia
pecuhar to these biras. The females ki»i and mount upon
each other like the males, when there is no male present.
They do not project anything into each other, but produce
more eggs than those which produce fertile ones ; firom these
^ggs nowing is hatched, but they are all barren.

Chaptxb m.

1. Thb production of the bird from the egg is alike in them
aU, but the period of comnletion varies, as I obsenred be-
fore. In domestic fowls tne first sicn of alteration takes
place after three days and nights. This period is longer in
larger birds, and shorter in small birds. During this period
the upper part of the yolk advances to the small extremity
of the egg, which is the beginning of the egc. This is the
part from which the chicken is excluded, and the heart is
visible like a red spot in the white of the egg.

2. This spot piupitates and moves as though it were en-
dued with hfe. From this, as it increases, two involved
sanguineous passages like veins lead to each of the sur-
rounding tunics ; and a membrane which has sanguineous
passages encloses the white at this period, and separates it
from the venous passages. A short time afterwards the
body is distinguished, at first very small and white, but the
head is distinct, and in this the eyes are the most enlarged.
And this continues for some time, for afterwards the eyes are
reduced in size and approach each other, but the lower part
of the body has not at first any proportion to the upper part.

8. One of the passages fi^m the heart extends into a
drde around the embryo, and the other to the yolk, as if
it were an umbilical cord. The origin of the young bird
is in the white, its nutriment is derived fix)m the volk
through the umbilical cord. ^ On the tenth day, the whole
of theyounff bird and all its parts are distinct, but its
head is stiUTarger than the rest of the body, and the eyes,
are larger than the rest of the head. They have no sense
of aiffht. If the eyes are taken out at this period, they
are Sffger than beans, and black; when the skin is
taken mm tbem, they are seen to contain a white and cold



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B. Ti.] na HinoBT oy AmuAiM. 143

flaidy rerj brilliant in appeannoe, but withoat any hard
•ubatanoe. Tbda is the manner of the derelopment of the
ejea and head.

4. At the same period the yiacera are viaible, but the
atomachy and intestines, and the veins from the heart still
appear to extend towards the nareL From the narel a
Tern appears to extend upon the membrane which encloses
the joIk, and the yolk itself is at this Pfnod fluid, and
more abundant than in its natural state. The other extends
to the membrane which encloses the whole membrane con-
taining the embryo, and the membrane of the yolk and the
fluid TOtween them, and when the young birds have grown
a little more, part of the yolk ^oes to one end, and ^urt to
the other, and between them is the fluid white ; but the
white is still below the lower part of the yolk, where it was
at first, but at the tenth day the white disappears, ffw it has
become small, yiscid, thick, and rather yellow.

5. This is the position of all the parts : the first and last
part adjoining the shell is the membrane of the egg, not the
membrane of the shell, but beneath this. This contains the
fluid white ; within this is the youiijg; bird, and a membrane
surrounding it, and separating it from the fluid ; beneath
the embryo is the yolk, to which one of the veins extends,
and the other to the white which encloses it. A membrane
containing a fluid resembling sanies encloses the whole, and
then another membrane which surrounds the embryo itself^
as I obsenred, and separates it from the fluid. Below this
the yolk, enclosed in another membrane, which is reached
by the umbilical cord from the heart, and the great rein, so
that the embryo does not appear to be in either of the fluids.

6. About the twentieth day, if the hlttching has been de»
layed beyond this period, the young bird is able to ehiip
when moyed externally, and if the shell is taken ofi*, by this
time also it is downy. The head is placed oyer the risht k^
upon the side, and the wine is oyer the head. At this
period the chorion-like memorane is yisible, which is united
with the lowest membrane of the sheU, to whidi one of the
umbilical cords passes, and the joung bird is complete. The
other chorion-like membrane is also yisible, enclosing the
yolk. To this the other umbilical cord extends. Both of
these oords are attached to the heart and the great yeuL At


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Ibe 8ftme period the cord which is attached to one chorion
falls off, and is separated from the animal, but the one which
passes to the ^rolk remains suspended from the joung bird
Dj a thin bowel, and a considerable portion of the yolk is
contained in the young bird, and some of it is found in the

7. At this period also they eject an excrementitious
matter into the external chorion, and contain it in the
stomach. The external excrement is white, the internal
yellow. At last the yolk, which has been continually
wasting and advancing, is entirely taken up and enclosed in
the young bird. So toat portions of it may be obserred in^
the intestines of birds if they are dissected on the tenth
day after exclusion from Uie egg. But it is set at liberty
from the narel, nor does any communication remain, but
the whole is separated. About the before-mentioned period
the young bird sleeps, but it stirs itself, and looks up, and
chirps when it is touched, and the heart swells up with the
narel, as if the embryo were breathing. This is the manner
of the derdopment of the chick in the egg.

8. Birds also produce some barren eggs, as well as those
from sexual intercourse, but they produce nothing after in-
cubation. This is particularly observed in pigeons. Double
eggs hare two yolks ; in some a thin division of white pre*
Tents the yolks from mixing together ; others hare not this
division, Imt touch each other. There are some hens which
always lay double eggs, and in these the peculiarities of the'
yolks have been observed; for a certain bird having laid'
eighteen eggs, hatched two chickens from each of them, ex-
ec^ those that were addled; all the rest were productive,
except that one of the twin chickens vras Irage and the'^

other amall in each. The last, however, vras monstrous.


Chattbb 17. ^

1. All the pigeon tribe, as the phatta and trygon, generally*
produce two eggs; the trycon and the phaUa are those
which generallyhy three. The piseon lays, as I said, at^
every season; the trygon and the pnatta in the spring, and^
not mere than twice. The second brood are hatched when
•the 4liit baa. been destroyed, for maigr birds destroy theeuc


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It aometimes lays three, as I hare said, but it nerer brings
out more than two young ones, and sometimos <m\j one,
the remaining egg is always addled. Very few birds begin
to hiy before they are a year old ; but when they hare once
begun to lay, the;^ all, as we may say, naturally contain eg^
to the end of their life, though it is not easy to see them in
some birds, from their small size.

2. The pigeon usually produces one male and one female,
and of these the male is often hatched first ; and haying laid
an egg one day, she omits many days and then lays another.
The male sits during a portion of the day, and the female
during the night, ^e first young one is hashed and able to
fly within twenty days, and the egg is billed on the day before
it is hatched ; both the old birds keep the young ones warm
for some time, as they do the e^. During the time of
brin^g'up their jroung the female is fiercer wan the male :
this 18 am the case in other animals. They produce young ten
times in a year, and sometimes eleyen times ; those in ^ypt
eyen twelve times. The cock and hen birds copulate witiiin
the year, for they do this at the end of six months.

8. And some say that the phatta and trycon are matured
when three months old, and they consider their great num-
bers as a proof of this. . The female contains her eg^ four-
teen days, and then sits upon them fourteen more ; in four-
teen days after this theyoung ones fly so well that it is
difficult to catch them. Toe phatta liyes, as they say, forty
years ; the partridse more thiui sixteen years. The pigeon,
after haying brought out her young, lays again in thirty daya*

Chaytbb V.

1. Ths yulture builds its nest in inaccessible rocks, where-
fore its nest and young ones are rarely seen. For thia
reason Herodorus, the uther of Bryson the sophist, ujb
that yultures come from another part of the earth, which ia
inyisible to us, giying as a reason for his opinion, that they
are seen in great numbers suddenly following the path of aa
army. Butdiffieult as it is toobaiurye them, their nests haye
been seen. The yultuie produces two eggs. No other car-
niyorouB bird has been obseryed to produce young more thaii
onoe a year; but the swallow more frequently produoea
joung twice a year than the camiyoroQsbirda* Ifaperaoa



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pieroes the eyes of young fwallows they lecorer, and are
able to lee afterwards.

Chaftbb VI.

L Thx eagle produces three e^, of which two only are
hatched. Hiis is also related in the poems of Musnas.
The hird which lays three eggs, hatches two, and brings up
but one. This firequentJyhappens ; but three young have
becj! seen in the nest. When the young begin to grow, one
of them is turned out by the parent, because she dislikes the
trouble of feeding it. At this period it is said to be without
food, so that it does not capture the young of wild crear
iures, for a few days the talons are tiuned back, and the
feathers become white, so that it then becomes cruel to its
joung. The phene^ receiyes and brings up the ejected

2. The c«gle incubates for thirty days ; this is the usual
period of incubation for lar^ birds, as the goose and the
bustard. Moderately sized birds usually sit twenlr days, as
the ictinus' and hieraz.' The ictinus usually produces two
jroune ones, and sometimes three ; the ^tolian kite, as it
IS called, sometimes produces four. The raven produces not
only two, but, as they say, many eggs, which she sits upon
far about twenly days. She also turns out some of her
young ones. Many other birds do the same thing ; and
generallr those which produce seTend turn out one.

8. All kinds of eagles do not behare in the same way to
iheir young ; but the pygargus is cruel ; and the black eagles
are careful for the focKl of their young ; but all birds with
erooked talons as soon as their young can fly well beat them
and drire them from the nest. And most birds of other
tlssses, as I have before obserred, do the same thing; and
when they have brought them up, they take no more notice
of them^ except the crow. This bird cares for its young a
kmg while, for as it fiies past them it gites them food after
thej are able to fly.

CHimm Vn.

1. Ths cuckoo is said bv some persons to be a changed hawk^
tecause the hawk whicn it resembles disappears when the


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cuckoo comes, and indeed yerj few hawks of an j sort can ba
i«en during the period in which the cuckoo is singing except
for a few days. The cuckoo is seen for a short time in the
summer, and disappears in winter. But the hawk has crooked
talons, which the cuckoo has not, nor does it resemble the
hawk in the form of its head, but in both these respects ia
more like the pigeon than the hawk, which it resembles in
nothing but its colour ; the marking howerer, upon the
hawk are like lines, while the cuckoo is spotted.
> 2. Itssizeandmanner of flight is like that of the smallest
kind of hawk, which j^erallj disappears during the season
in which the cuckoo is seen. But thej have both been seen
at the same time, and the cuckoo was beinff devoured bv the
hawk, though this is nerer done bj birds of the same kind.
Thej say tmit no one has ever seen the young of the cuckoo*
It does, however, la/ eggs, but it makes no nest ; but some-
times it lays its eggs in the nests of small birds, and devoura
their eggs, especially in the nests of the pigeon, when it has
eaten their eggs. Sometimes it lays two, but usually onlr
one egg ; it lays also in the nest of the hypolais,^ which
hatches and hnngs it up. At this season it is particularly
fat and sweet-fleshed ; toe flesh also of young hawks is Tery
sweet and fat. There is also a kind of them which builds a
nest in precipitous difis.

Chaptxb VIII.

1. Lf many birds the male alternates with the female in the
duty of incubation, as we observed in speaking of pigeons,
and takes her place while she is obliged to procure food for
herself. In geese the female alone sits upon the eggs, and
having once begun, she never leaves them during the whole
process of incubation. Tlv9 nests of all water birds are
situated in marshy and crassy places, by which means they
^can keep quiet and still have food within their reach, so that
they do not starve all the while. The females alone, among
the crows, sit on the eggs, which they never leave ; but the
males bring them food and fted them.

2. Hie females of the pigecms begin to sit at twiliriiti and
•Iremain on the nest the whole nigh^ till dawn; and tbeBiale
the rest of the time. Ptotaridgea make two nests of ^gpi^
* Bjlfifr ewaoo% btdfo fpanew.

& 2


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148 TBI HI8T0BT OT AVniALS. [b. TX

upon one of which the male Bits, on the other the female-;
and each of them hatches and brings up its own : and the
male has sexual intercourse with its young as so<m as they
are hatched.

Chaptxb IX.

L The peacock lives about twentv-five jears, and produces
young generally at three years old ; by which time also they
haye obtained their variegated plumage: and it hatches in
thirty days, or rather more. It only produces young once
a-year, laying twelve eggs, or not quite so many. It lays
its eggs at intervals of two or three days, and not regularly.
At first they lay only eight. The pea-fowl also lays barren
e^gs : they copulate in the spring, and lay their eggs imme^
diately afterwards.

2. This bird sheds its feathers when the leaves of the
trees begin to fall, and begins to A^uire them again with
the first budding in the spring. Tiiose who rear these
birds place the eggs for incuoation beneath domestic fowls ;
because the peacock flies at, and torments the hen when
she is sitting; for which reason some of the wild birds
make their escape from the males before they begin to lay
and sit. They place only two eggs under domestic fowls,
for these are all that they can hatch and bring out ; and
they take care to put food before them, that they may not
get up and desert their incubation.

- 8. Birds at the season of sexual intercourse have large

testicles. In the more lascivious they are always more evi^

dent^ as the domestic cock and the partridge. In those

j that are not always lascivious, they are less. This is the

manner of the gestation and reproduction of birds.

) Chuptib X.

1. It has been already observed that fish are not always
oviparous, for the selache are always viviparous. AU the
rest are oviparous. The selache are viviparous, having
first of all produced ova internally ; and these they bring up
in themselves, except the batrachus« Fish have also, as I
observed before, very different uteri in different kinds : {at
in the oviparous genera the uterus is double, and situated
low down. In the selache the uterus is more like that cf biniai
Theve is this diflbrenoOy howeverithat the ova are not plaoed


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B. TI.] THV HI8T0BT Of AimCALS. 149

near tiie diaphragm, but in an intermediate position near
the spine ; and when thej hare grown they change their
place from this part. The ovum in all fish is not of two, but
of one colour ; and it is more white than yellow, both in its
early stages, and tSter the formation of the embryo.

2. The development of the OTum is different in fish and
in birds, in that it has not the umbilical cord which passes
to the membrane of the shell ; but onlythe passage which
leads to the yolk in the Cj^gs of birds. The rest of the dere*
lopment of the omm is alike in birds and fish ; for it takes
place at the extremity, and the yeins haye their origin in
a similar manner in the heart ; and the h^, and eyes, and
upper parts of the body are larger than the rest. As the
young fish increases, the oyum continues to diminish, and
at last it disappears, and is absorbed, like the yolk in the
eggs of birds. The umbilical cord is attached a little below
the abdomen. At first the cord is long, but it becomes less
as the fish grows, and at last is small, and finally absorbed,
like that ofbirds.

8. The embryo and the oyum are enclosed in a common
membrane, and beneath this there is another membrane, in
which the embryo alone is enclosed. Between these mem-
branes there is a fluid substance. The nutriment contained
in the stomach of the young fish is similar to that in the
young birds, partly white, and partly yellow. The form of
the uterus must be learned from dissection. This organ is
diffldrent in different fish, as in the galeode by themselyes, and
the flat fish by themselves : for in some the ova are attached
near the spine to the centre of the uterus, as I observed be*
fore, as in scylia.* They descend when they begin to increase,
when the uterus is double, and are attached to the diaphragm^
as in other fish : the ova descend into each division.
' 4. The uterus of these fish, and of the other galeode, has a
■mall appendage attached to the diaphragm like a white
nipple, which is not present unless they are pregnant. Hie
scyua and the batis nave a shell-like substance, wUch ooq-
tains the fluid of the ovum. In form the shell resemUes the
tongue of a wind instrument, and hair-Uke passam are at-
taofed to the sheUs. The young of the scyJia^ wludi sonie
persona etll nebria galei, are oom when the sheli falls off and
Dunti. The young of the batis when they arp brought Arth
*- > Dof-Bih. Sqoslat i


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150 . THE HliTOBT Of ASJUAl^B. [b. T1

are excluded by the rupture of the shelL In the acantheas^
galeos the ora are attached to the diaphragm above the
nipples ; and when the ovum descends, the younff is attached
to it after it is set free. The reproduction of the alopex ia
in the same manner.

5. Most galei which are called smooth have the ova placed

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