Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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between the divisions of the uterus, like those of the scylia;
and as thej surround it, thej descend into each division of
the uterus, and they are produced, attached to the uterus
bv an umbilical cora ; so that when the ova are taken out«
tney appear simiLur to the embryo of quadrupeds. And the
long umbilical cord is attached to tne .lower part of the
uterus, each part, as it were, attached to an acetabulum j
and to the middle of the embryo near the liver. And when
it is dissected, the food is like an egg, though the ovum be
no longer there. There is a chorion, and peculiar membranes'
surrounding each of the embryos, as in quadrupeds.

6. The head of the embryo when it is just produced, 19
upwards ; but as it grows and reaches maturity, it is placed
downwards. The males are placed on the left, and the
females on the right, or there are males and females together
on the same side. The embryo, when dissected, resembles
that of quadrupeds, in having its viscera such as it has, as the
liver, lar^, and full of blood. In all the selache the ova are
placed high up, near the diaphragm ; many larger, and many
■mailer: and the embryos are pbced below, wherefore it is
probable that such fish produce their young, and copulate
firequently during the same month, for they do not product
all their young at once, but firequently, and for a long while ;
but those thatareinthelowerpartof the uterus are matured
and brought to perfection.

7. The other galei both emit and receive their young into*-
themselves, and so do the rhine and the narca; and a larse
narca has been observed to contain eightv^oun^ in herseSCl -
Hie acanthias ia the only one of the galei which does not
admit its young into itself^ on account of their tiioms.'
Among the flat fish the trygon and bates do not admit their
young, on account of the roughness of the taiL Neither'
does the batrachus admit its young, on account of the size'
of their heads, and their thorns ; and this is the only one
tlMit ii not viviparous, as I previously observadr Oieae ut


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B. TL]' raS H18T0BT OF ASIUAJ^ 151

ibeir mutual differences, and the manner of tbe derdop*
ment of their ova.

8. At the season of sexual intercourse, the seminal ducts
of the male are full of fluid, so that a white matter escapes
iffaen thej are pressed. These passages are divided, and
originate m the aiaphragm and the large vein : at the same
season the passages of the male are conspicuous, and may be
ompared with the uterus of the female. When it is not
Ihe season of sexual intercoursei thej are less ccmspicuons,
£^m not being in use. In some fish, and sometimes, ther
ire not yisible at all, as it was remarked of the testicles of
>irds. The semiuiJ and uterine passages are different in
other respects also, and because those of the male are at^
tached to the loins, those of the female are easily moved,
and enclosed in a thin membrane. The nature of the pa»-
sages of the male maj be seen in works on anatom j.
^ 9. The Bokchea become pregnant again while with joun^,
and the period of gestation is six months. Among the ealei,
the astenas produces young the oflenest ; for it produces
twice in a month : it logins to copulate in the month of Sep-
tember. All the other mdei except the scylia produce twice
in the year ; the scylia but once. Some of them have their
young m the rorinff. The rhine produces its first brood in
the spring, and its ust in the autumn, near the winter seascm,
and the setting of the Pleiades. The second fiy are the most
numerous. The narca produces its young in tbe autumn.
The selache descend from the ocean and deep water to the
shore, to produce their young, both for the sake oS ihe
warmth, and care of their ofispring.
'■ 10. No other fish but the rnine and the bates have ever
Wn observed to unite with others not of their own land,
but there is a fish called the rhinobatusy which has the head
and upper part of the rhine, and [the lower part like the
batus, as it were made up of both. Tbe galei and the
galeoeides, as the alopex, dog-fish, and the flat flsh, as the
narce batos, leiobatos ami trygon, are in this manner ovovi-

1. Tn dolphin, whale, and other eetaoea whidi have a
blow-hole but no gills^ are Tiviparonsy and so are tbe


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pristis and the bo6. For none of these have an ovum, but'
a proper foDtus, from which, when perfected, an aninial is;
developed, as in man and the viviparous quadrupeds. The
dolphin usuallj produces one, and sometimes two jouns
ernes. The whale generally and usually produces two and,^
sometimes one. ^e phociena is similar to the dolphin^
for it is like a small dolphin. It is produced in the Pontui.
In some respects the phociena differs from the dolphin, for
its size is smaller, it is wider in the back, and its colour ii ^
blue. Many persons say that the phocsDua is a kind of

2. All these creatures which have a blow-hole, breathe
and inhale air; and the dolphin has been observed while
asleep with the muzzle above the water, and it snores in I
its sleep. The dolphin and phociena give milk and suckle \
their young. They also receive their young into them*
selves. The growUi of the young dolphins is rapid, for *
they attain their full size in ten years. The female is preg-
nant for ten months. The dolphin produces her yoimg
in the summer-time, and at no other season. They seem
also to disappear for thirty days during the season of the
doff-star. Toe young follow their dam for a long while, . \^
and it is an animal much attached to its offspring. It lives \
many years ; for some have been known to live twenty-five \
or thirty years ; for fishermen have marked them by cutting \
their tails and then giving them their liberty. In this way
their ace was known. ^ ^ -i

8. The seal is amphibious, for it does not inhale water^T*
but breathes and sleeps. It produces its young on land, ^
but near the shore, in the manner of animals with feet ; but i:
it lives the greater part of its time, and obtains its food in ?
the sea^ wherefore it is to be considered among aauatio:i
animals. It is properly viviparous, and produces a living ^
creature, and a cnonon, and it brings fortn the other mem* -i
branes like a sheep. It produces <me or two, never more, i
than three younff ones. It has also mammsB, so that it ^
suckles its young like quadrupeds. It produces its .young .)
like the human snbieet, at all seasons of the yeari but es» f
pedaUy with the eaniest goats. (

4u When the yoimg are twelve days old, it leads them top
the water several times ia.the day, in oider to habitui^


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them by degrees. It drags its hinder parts along, and does
not walk, for it cannot erect itself upon its feet, out it con«^
tracts and draws itself together. It is fleshj and sofi;, and
its bones are cartila^ous. It is difficult to kill the seal
by yiolence, unless it is struck upon the temple, for its body
is fleshj. It has a voice like an ox. The pudendum of the
female is like that of the batis, in all other animals of the
class the pudendum resembles that of the human female.
This is the manner of the development and nature of the
young of aquatic animals which are either internally or
exteinally firiparous.

chaptbb xn.

1. Ths oviparous fish have a divided uterus placed on the
lower part of the body, as I observed before. All that have
scales are viviparous, as the labrax, cestreus, cephalus, eteUs,^
and those called white fish, and all smooth fish except the
eeL Their ova resemble sand. This appearance is owing
to their uterus being quite full of ova, so that small fish
appear to have only two ova ; for the small size and thinness
of the uterus renders it invisible in these creatures. I have
before treated of the sexual intercourse of fish. The sexes
are distinct in almost all fish, though there is some doubt
about the erythrinus* and the channai for all these are
found to be pregnant.

2. Ova are found in those fish which have sexual inter-
course, though they possess them without intercourse.
This is observable m some kinds of river fish; for the
))hoxini* appear to be pregnant as soon as they are bom,
and when they are quite small. They emit the ova in a
stream ; and, as I observed before, the males devour great
numbers of them, and others perish in the water. &oee
are preserved which they deposit in their appropriate situa>
tions. For, if all were preserved, the numbers that would
be found would be immense. Not all those tiiat are pre-
served are fertile, but only those on which the seminal fluid
of tiie male has been sprinkled. When the female produces
her ova, the male follows, and scatters his semen upon them.
Younff flsh are produced finom those ova which are thua
tprinlued. The remainder turn out m chance may direoU

^t Pitriiapi tfas Sea-brosni, gparnt. *r«h^Ftooai

* 9lT^^ ^hoxiavi*


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8. The same thing also occurs in the malacia ; for the.
male sepia sprinkles the era of the female as they are de-^
posited; ana it is reasonable to suppose that the other
malacia do the same, although it has only been obserred in
the sepia. They produce their ova near the land, the cobii
deposit them upon stones, and that which they produce is
flat and sand-like. The rest do the same, for the parts near
the land are warmer, and prorision is more abundant, and
there is better protection for their youns; against larger
fish, for which cause very ^reat numliers deposit their ova^
near the rirer Thermoddn, in the Pontus, for tbe place ii^
sheltered and warm, and tbe water is sweet.

4. The majority of Tiviparous fish reproduce once in
^year, except the small phycides,* which reproduce twicer
a-year. The male phyces difiers from the female, beine
diurker-coloured and haying larger scales. All other fisL
produce from seed, and emit era; but that which is called
the belone, at the season of reproduction burst-s asunder,,
and in this way the ora escape ; for this fish has a division
beneath the stomach and bowels, like the serpents called,
typhlinie.' When it has produced its ora^ it surriTes, and
the wound heals up again.

5. The derelopment of the ovum is alike, both in those
that are internally and those that are extemaUy oviparous.
For it takes place at the extremityof the ovum, and it is en-
closed in a membrane. The eyes are the first paii that is con-
spicuous ; they are large and spherical ; so that it is plain that
they are mistaken who say that the mode of development re-
sembles that of vermiform creatures, for in them the order
is different, and the lower parts are formed first, and after^
wards the head and eyes. When the ovum is taken away,
they assume a circular form, and for some time continue to
grow without taking in any food, by absorbing the moisture
of tiM ovum. They afterwards derive their nutrimenti as
long as they continue growing, firom tiie water of the river.

6. When the Pontus is deansed, something is floated
oat into the Hellespont which is called focus. It is of a
yellow colour. Somesay that it is naturally a plant. Hub
takes place at the beginning of summer. The ovsters and
email fish whidi live m these places fted upon flus focuai

. * HsfC Sontipeeiflsof arallst * Lteerti apuiy j->


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And some maritime penona uj that they obtain thdr purple
from tbia plant.

Ghaptsv XnL

rirer fish begin to reproduce naoallj when
Thej all produce their ova at the begin-
Like the marine fiah, the femalee of these
t all their OTa, nor the males all their
but botii sexes are always found to con-
f the reproductive substance ; they pro-
the proper season. The cyprinus fire or
and especially under the influence of tha
is reproduces three times, all the rest but

t their ora in the stagnant parts of riven '

the reeds, as the phoxinus and perca. The |.,

roa produce their ova in strings, like the h i

\i the perca produces is so involfed that, on T}

ftdth, the fisnermen collect it together from ^!

in ponds. The larger individuals of the | ,

eir ova in deep water, some where it is »
t the smaller ones in shallow water, and i

root of the willow or some other tree, and
und mosses.

Id themselves together, sometimes a large i'

one, and approximate the psssages, whidi
vel, from which they eject their respective
;he females their ova, and the males their
Those ova with which the semen of the
xed immediately or in the course of a day
d larger, and in a short time the eyes of
ir appearance ; for in all fish, as in other
is most conspicuous, and appears the largest^
A fluid does not touch any of the ova^ as in
h, these become useless and barren,
rtile ova, as the fish increase in size, some-
is separated ; this is the membrane which
m and the embryo fish. As soon as the.
ixed with the ova a glutinous matter ia
tens them to the roots or other substance

^ _re deposited. The male watches over the

place where tlie greatest number of ova are deposited, and


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166 THl HI8T0BT 01 AJriMALi. [B. t1

the female departs as soon as she has spawned. The develop*
ment of the ovum of the glanis proceeds the most slowlj, for
the male remains bj them for forty or fiflj days, in order
that they may not be devoured by fish chancing to come
that way.

5. Next to this is the cyprinus. The ova, however, of
these which are preserved escane Yerr quickly. The deve-
lopment in some of the small nsh takes place on the third
day, and the ova upon which the seminal fluid has fallen
begin to increase on the same day, or shortly afterwards.
The ova of the glanis become as larce as the seed of the
orobus. Those of the cyprinus and that class, about the
size of millet. The ova oi these fish are produced and deve*
loped in this manner.

6. The chalcis assembles in mat numbers to deposit its
ova in deep water. The fish which is called tilon deposits
its ova near the shore, in sheltered places ; this fish also is
gregcrious. The cvprinus, balerus, and all others, so to
say, hasten into sLillow water to deposit their ova, and thir*
teen or fourteen males often follow a single female, and when
the female has deposited her ova and departed, the males
that follow her sprinkle their semen upon them. The majo«
rity of the ova are lost, for the female scatters them abroad
as she is moving forward, unless thev fall upon any sub-*
stance, and are not carried away by tne stream. Iilone of
them, except the |^lanis, watch their ova, unless the cvprinus
meets with them in great numbers, when, they say, that this
fish watches them. ^

7. All the male fish have semen, except the eel, and tim
one has neither semen nor ova. The cestreus migrates ttcuai
the sea into lakes and rivers ; the eel, on the contrary, leaves
them for the sea. Most fish, therefore, as I observed, pro^'
ceed from ova*

Chjlpteb XIV. i

1. ^SovB originate in mud and sand : even of those kinds which;
originate in sexual intercourse and ova, some, they say, have^
appeared both in other marshy places and in those which once
surrounded Cnidua, which becune dry under the influence of
the do^-stsr, and idl the mud was parched up, but with the
first rains the waters returned, and small fish appeared witk'


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S, TI.] TBI HI8T0BT 07 AKIMAU. 157

the return of the waters. This was a kind of cestreus, which
originates in coition, about the site of small mronidia,' but
the^ had neither ova nor semen. In the Asiatic riTers,
which do not flow into the sea, other small fish, of the size
of epseti,* are produced in the same manner. Some perscms
saj that the cestreus is always produced in this manner, but
in this thej are mistaken, for both the females are known
to haye oya and the males semen. But there is some one
kind of them which originates in mud and sand.

2. It is eyident from the following considerations that
some of them are of spontaneous growth, and do not origi*
nate either in oya or semen. Those which are neither oyi«
parous nor yiyiparous are all produced either from mud or
sand, or from the putrid matter on the surface, as also the
foam in sandy places produces the aphya.' This aphja neyer
increases in suse, and is barren, and as time adyances it
perishes, and another fry is formed. Wherefore it may be
said to be reproduced at eyeiy season, except for a short
time; for it continues from the autumn arcturus to the
sprinc;. This is a proof that it sometimes oriciDates in the
soil, tor it is not captured bj fishermen in cold weather, but
on a fine day it may be taken as it comes up from the ground
for the sake of the warmth. When they naye drag^ the
ground and scraped up the surface, the nsh are more nume-
rous and better. The other aphy» are inferior, on account
of their rapid growth.

8. They are found in shady and marshy places, when the
earth becomes warm in fine weather, as near the temple
of Athene in Salamis, and near the tomb of Themistocles,
and near Marathon, for foam is formed in all these places*
It makes its appearance in such places, and in fine weather :
it appears also at times in seasons of much rain, and when
£bam is formed of rain water, wherefore also it is called
aphrus ; and sometimes it is found on the surfiu» of the sea,
in fine weather, where it is whirled about, and, like the little
maggots in dung, so this is found in the foam which floats on
the surface ; wl^refore also this aphya is carried by the sea
inmany directions, and it abounds ^d is captured in the
greatest abundance when the season is moist and warm.

'4. There is another aphya deriyed from fioh, for thai
which is called cobitis is oeriyed from small and inferior

^ ^BsrdiiMii * AtheruM tf^Mlot. * Kckauriit jaftBonliii.

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158 TUB HI8T0BT 07 AKDiALS; ll^YI.

gobii, which burj themselTes in the earth. The membrades
mre produced from the phalerica. The trichides come from
these, and the trichin from the trichides ; from one kind of
sphja, which inhabits the port of Athens, the encrasicoli
are dcriyed. There is another kind of aphja which ori^iinates
in the mcenis and cestrens, but the barren aphrus is Tory
■oft, and endures only for a short time, as I said before, and
at last nothing is left but the head and eyes. The fisher*
men, howerer, hare now found a mode of conreying it from
place to place, for it lasts longer when salted.

Chaptzb XV.

1. Ebls are not produced from sexual intercourse, nor are
they oviparous, nor hare they ever been detected with semen
or ora, nor when dissected do they appear to possess either
aeminal or uterine riscera ; and this is the only kind of san-
guineous animal which does not originate either in sexual
intercourse or in ora. It is, howerer, manifest that this is
the case, for, after rain, they have been reproduced in some
marshy ponds, from which all the water was drawn and the
mud cleaned out ; but they are nerer produced in dry places
nor in ponds that are always full, for tney Hto upon and are
nourished by nm water. It is plain, therefore, thi^ they
Bfe not produced either from sexual intercourse or from ova.
Bome persons have thought that they were productive, be«
cause some eels have parasitical worms, ana they thought
that these became eels.

2. This, however, is not the case, but they originate in
what are called the entrails of the earth, which are found
■pontaneousljr in mud and moist earth. They have been
observed making their escape from them, and others have
been found in them when cut up and dissected. These
originate both in the sea and in rivers wherein putrid mat-
ter is abundant; in those places in the sea which are full of
fiici, and near the banks of rivers and ponds, for in these
places the heat canses much putridity. This is the mode of
generatioa in eels.


1« Thb reproductive function is not active in all fish at the
Mune time or the same manner, nor are they pregnant during
the same length of time. Before the season of sexual inter-


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B^ TI.] 9H1 HI8T0BT 07 AKIMALS.' 159

eoone the mules and females begin to assemble, and at the
period of intercourse and the production of their OTa they pair
toj^ther. Some of them do not remain pregnant more toan
thirty days, and others not so long; but all of them remain
so for a number of days, which can be distributed into seren.
Those which some persons ctdl marini remain pregnant for
the longest period. The sargus becomes pregnant in the
month of December, and remains so for thirty days. The
kind of cestreus which some persons call the cbelon and the
myxon are pregnant at the same time as the sai^gus. All
these suffer in their pregnancy, wherefore they are driven to
the shore at this season ; for m the yehemence of their desire
thejr are carried towards the land, and always continue in
motion during this period till th^ have produced their o?a.
The cestreus is more remarkable for this than any other fish.*
As soon as they have deposited their ova, they become quiet.
' 2. In many fish there is a limit to their reproductire powers,
when worms make their appearance in theur abdomen. These
worms are small living creatures, which expel the repro*
ductive substance. The small firy of the rhyas makes its ap-
pearance in the spring, and that of many others about the
vernal equinox. Other fish do not produce at this season of
the year, but in the summer or near the autumnal equinox.
8. The atherina produces its young first of all, near the
land. The cephalus is the last. This is evident from the
small fry of the former appearing first, and that of the latter
last of lul. The cestreus also prcrauces among the first. The
salpa in most places deposits its ova during the summer, and
sometimes in the autumn. The aulopias, which they call
anthias, produces its ova in the summer season. Afler these
the chrvBophrvs, labrax, mormyrus, and aU those which are
called dromades ; the trigla and cocarinns are the latest of
all the gregarious fish. These ovinosit in the autumn. The
trigla deposits her ova in the mud, which causes her to be
late, for the mud continues cold for a long while. The cora-
cimus is next to the trigla, and goes among the sea weed to
deposit her ova : consequently they frequent rocky places.
It continues pregnant for a long while. The manidea
oviposit at the winter solstice. Many other marine fiish
oviposit in the summer, for they are not capturod at ttiia
period. ^emsBnis is the moat productive ra all fish, and


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160 VnZ HI8T0BT 07 AKIHALS* [b. TX<

the batrachuB the most bo among the Belache. Tbej are;
howerer, rare, for thej perish yer^r readily ; they oviposit in
shoals and near the land.

4. The selache, as being riyiparous, are less prodaetive.
These are particularly preserved bj their large size. The
belone is late in. producing its young, and many of them are
burst by their ova in the act of parturition ; for these ova-
are not so numerous as they are large. They surround the
parent as if they were phalangia; for she produces them,
attached to herself, and if any one touches them they make
their escape. The atherina deposits her ova b;^ rubbmg her.
abdomen against the sand. The thynni burst with fat. They
live two years. The fishermen argue thus : when the thyn«
Hides fail one year, the thynni fail the year after. They
appear to be a year older than the pelamus. ^

5. The thynni and scombri copulate at the end of Fe-
bruary, and produce their young at the beginning of June.
They produce their ova^ as it were, b a purse. Tne growth,
ctf the thynnides is rapid ; for when these fish produce their,
young in the Pontus, they produce from the ovum creatures
which some persons call scordyl®, and the Byzantines call
aaxid», because they grow in a few days. They go out in
the autumn with the thynnus, and return in the spring as
pelamides. Nearly all other fish grow rapidly, but those in
the Pontus more rapidly than in other places ; for the amia
there increase yisioly every day. It is necessary to re-
member that the same fish have not in the same place the
identical time of coition and gestation, nor the same period
of repoduction and oom{>letion of their ofispring. For those '
whico are called coracini produce their ova at the time of
wb^ harvest, though, ^nerally speaking, the order of their
leproduction is that which I have mentioned;

6. The conger also becomes pregnant, though this circum*^^

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 16 of 39)