Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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stance is not equaUy distinct everjrwhere on account of its
fiit; for the organ of reproduction is long, like that of ser*

Kts. It becomes distinct, however, when laid upon the
; for the fat smokes and cansumes away, and the ova,
when pressed, jump out with a cracking noise. If any
person will feel and mb them with the miger, the &t will
appear smooth and the ova rough to the toudi. Some con*'
gen have fat bat no ova; and othersi on the contraiji hava


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B. TI.] TBI HISTORY 07 ▲KIKA.L8. 161

no fat bat mich ova as I have described. We bave now
treated of nearlj all the ovi parous animals, whether furnished
with fins, or wings, or feet, and of their sexual interooune^
gestation, deyelopment, and such Uke subjects.

chapteb xvn,

1. Wi must now treat of the nature of Tiriparous animals with
feet and of man at this period. We hare already treated in
general and in particular of their mode of coition. It is
common to all animals to be elevated with the desire and
pleasure of sexual intercourse. The females become savage
when their young are produced, the males at the season of
coition ; for horses bite each other and drive about and pur-
sue their riders. The wild boars are very savage at this sea-
son, although coition renders them weak.

2. And they fight wonderfully among themselves, and

make themselves as it were breastplates, and render their

skin callous beforehand by rubbing themselves against trees

and frequently wallowing in the mud and drying themselves.

They fight together and drive each other out of the herd so

fiercely, that not rarely both of them perish in the fight.

The same is the nature of bulls, rams, and goats ; for although

they pasture together, at the period of co-

arrel and fight together. The male camel

his time, whether it is a man or a camel that

and he will at all times fight with a horse.

I of wild animals is the same. For bears,

I are savage if they are approached at this

f do not quarrel much among themsdvea,

i are gregarious. The she bears are savage

ir cubs, and bitches for their puppies. Efe*

ne wild at this period. Wherefore they sar

ee who have the care of them do not permit

nal intercourse with the females ; for ther

uch season and overturn the houseit, which

ind do many other violent acts. They say

ace of food will render them more gentle.

others amonff them which are dire<Sed to

K) they punisn them and reduoe ihem to »


ores which have frequent sexual intereomae^


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like domestic Animals, as the hog and dog, appear to be less
influenced hj these circumstances on account of the fre-
quency of their coition. Of all females the mare is the most
Tiolent in her sexual desires, and then the cow. l^Iares are
subject to the affection called hippomania, and this name la
transferred from this single animal to intemperate and lasci*
Tious persons. They are said to be affected by the wind at
such seasons: wherefore in Crete thej neyer separate tho
. stallions from the mares. When the mares are thus affected,
they separate themselves from the other horses. In swine
the same affection is called xaTj^/^iiir, to desire the boar.
Thej nerer run to the east or the west, but either north or

5. When they suffer firom this affection, they will allow
no one to approach them, till they either are so fatic^ed thai
they can go no further, or come to the sea: they Uien eject
aome substance, which has receired the name of hippomanes,
like that on a new-bom colt. It resembles the capria of
the sow. Poisoners diligently seek for this substance. At
the season of sexual intercoiurse they lean upon each other
more than at other times, and more their taits, and utter a
different sound firom that which is common to them. A
fluid like semen also flows from their genital organs, but it
is much more thin than that of the male ; and some per-
sons call this fluid hippomai^eSy though it is not that
which is produced upon colto. It is difficult to collect
this fluid, for it does not appear in large quantities.
When they are desirous of sexual intercourse, they often
make water, and sport together: this is the nature of

6. Cows desire the bulL They are so taken up by theit
passion, that the cowherds cannot manage them. Mares
and cows shew the yehemence of their desire by the swellhig
of ^ir genital parts. Cows also, like mares, make water
yery frequently. The cows also mount upon the bull, and
fdbw, and stand beside him. The younger animals, both
among horses and oxen, are the flrst to desire sexual inter*
course; and in fine weather, when their health is ffood, the
yehemnice of their desire is still stronger. If tne manes
of the mares are cut, their desires become weaker, and thqf:
fie xendevsd more gentle.


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7. The stalliona recognise the marei of their own herds
bj the aoent; and if any stransen become mixed with them
s few days before the period of coition, they bite them till
they go away, and each stallion feeds apart with his own
mares. Thirty mares, or rather less, are giyen to each $ and
if anjr male wproaches, he tnms and goes round the mares
in a circle, and then prepares to fight. If any cme of the
females attempts to move, he bites and prerents her.

8. At the season of sexual intercourse the bull pastures
with the cows, and fights with other bulls : at other times
the sexes keep themsdres separate : this is called AnfutyiXih
(despising the herd) ; those in Epirus are often not seen for
three months; and generally all, or nearly all, wild animals,
do not herd with their females before the season of sexual
intercourse : but as soon as they come to pubertjr the males
separate themsehes, and cease to feed with the females.
Sows, when ther are urged by sexual desire, or, as it is
called, desire the boar (xav^r), will even attack men.
In bitches this affection is called tfxv^p, to desire the

9. When females are urgedwith desire, their genital organs
are swollen with heat, and a fluid secretion takes pboe*
Mares scatter about a white fluid at this season. In no
creatures are the catamenia so abundant as in women. In
sheep and goats at the season of coition, there are certain
signs before copulation: there are also siens after oopu*
lation, but these again cease till the period of parturition,
when they again occur. By this means shepherds under-
stand that they are about to produce their young. After
parturition there is a great purification, which at mrst is not
yery full of blood, but becomes so afterwards.

• 10. In the cow, the ass, and mare, this purification is
abundant, on account of their great siie ; but still it is
small, considering how large they are. Whoi the cow is
urged by desire, she undergoes a brief purification, about
hfllf-a-cup full, or a little more. The time of thisjpurificatioQ
is peculiarly the period for seoraal interoouse. Of aU quad*
rupeds the mare suffers the leasts and is the most deamy in
parturition: neither is her lossof blood great considerinff
the siie of the snimaL In oows and maresi tiie fiulursMt
the f i t a menia in the second, fourth, snd sixth month iscon-


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164 THB HI8T0BT 01 AVDULS. [b. TX.

sidered as a sign of pregnancy ; Irat it is not eaa j for anyone
to understand this, who does not follow and accustom nim*
self to them : and some persons are of opinion that they haye
no catamenia. The female oreus has no cat4Mfnenia» but her
urine is thicker than that of the male.

11. On the whole, the liquid excrements are thicker in
other animals than in man ; and those of female sheep and
goats thicker than in tiie males of the same animal. That
of the she ass is thinner, of the cow is harsher, than of their
respect i ve males. After pi^turition the urine of all creatures
becomes thicker, and especially in those which have no puri*
flcation. When females be«n to feel sexual desires, their
milk is like pus ; it afterwaras becomes useful after parturi-
tion. Sheep and goats become &t when thev are pregnant,
and consume more food ; and so do cows, and aU otner quad-


1. Obvxballt speaking, the sexual desires of animals are
more violent in spring. They do not all, however, copulate
at the same seasons, but at the time of year which will cause
them to produce their youn^ at the proper season. The
period of sestation in domestic swine is four months. They
never produce more than twenty pigs ; and if they have
manv, they cannot bring them aU up. When aged, tiiey
proauce in the same manner, but they copulate more
uowlv. They become pregnant with one act of coition ;
but tiiey submit themselves to the boar very frequently, on
account of their rejection of the capria after they are preg*
nant. This takes place in all, but some will also eject tm

2. If any of the pigs are injured or deteriorated during
pregnanqr, it is called metachsron. This may take plac» in
any part of the uterus. In parturition the sow gives the
first the first pig. It is not necessary that she should
so to the boar as soon as the sexual appetite is felt, or bdbre
her ears bmn to hang down; for otherwise she desires to
go spin. If she ^oes to the boar when she is desirous of it,
the impregnation is complete in a sbgle act of intercourse.
Barley is a proper food lor the boar at the period of coition.
U shmild be oookod for the Csmale after parturition. Some


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B0\f8 produce excellent pigs firom the fint; others do not
produce good offspriD^ and pigs till ther are ^ipi up.
ISome persona saj that if one of the ejes of a sow is piut out,
she generally speakins dies very soon. Most of them lira
fifteen. 8ome die in less than twenty years.

Chapteb XTY.

plant after three or four acts of sexual
falls after the act of intercourse, it
tie nature of floats is the same. They
>, and sometimes three. Cases have
ludng four. The period of gestation
t is five months ; and in some places,
irarm and fine, and food is abundant,
ce a-year. The goat will live eight
es ten years, or generally rather less ;
s flock live fifteen yesrs ; for in every
of the males as a leader, who, when
rd, places himself at the head of the
itemed to this duty even when young,
live twelve or thirteen years, and the

tnd goat enjoy sexual intercourse aa
eep and goats produce twins, if either

or the ram or he-goat, or the ewe
>ducing twins. They produce females
e nature of the water (for there are
le them to produce males and others
ir manner of sexual intercourse; and
Krard during copulation they produce
athward, females ; and one winch na*
lea vrill change its nature and produce
scessary to see that they stana to the
of sexual intercourse. If any are ao*

earlv, and the ram is introduced to
)t enaure it.

rhite or black according as the vefais
r the ram are white or black; for the

veins are white, and black if thqr are
>th black and white, the lambs also are
if red, then the lambs are red. Ihej^


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are more ready for Bezual mtercourse if they drink sall^
water ; bo that thej should be supplied with salted water^
botii before and after parturition, and again in the sprint;
llie herdsmen do not constitute anj leader among the flocks
of goats, beoftuse it is not their nature to be stationaiy, but
thej are actife and nsdj to more firom place to place. If
the older sheep prepare for sexual intercourse at the proper
time, the shepnerds consider it a sign of a good jear for the'
sheep ; if the younger ones are ready flrst, it will be a bad
sheep year.

Chattib XX. ;

1. Thsbb are many kinds of dogs. The Lacedemonian dogs,'
both male and female, begin to haye sexual intercourse at
eight months old. Some also lift their leg to make water
atxmt this period. The bitch becomes pregnant with a single
act of coition ; this is particularly erident in those^which per-
form the act in secret, for they become pregnant when once
united. The period of gestation in the La^emonian bitdi
is the sixth purt of a year, that is sixty days, or it may be one,
two, or three days more or less. The puppies when they
are bom are blind for twelye days. The bitch is ready for
sexual intercourse six months after she has produced her
young, and not sooner. In some the perioa of gestation
IS the fifth part of a year, this is seyenty-two days. The
puppies of such bitches are blind for fourteen days. Others
are pregnant the fourth part of a year, that is three whole
months ; their puppies are blind seyenteen days. The fe<
male appears to desire the male for the same length of time^
2. The catamenia in bitches last for seyen days, and at
the same time the genital organs are swollen with heat j
during this period roey will not endure coition, but during
the seyen days which u)Uow, for they all appear usually to
desire the male for fourteen days. This ufection continues
in some for sixteen days. Hie purification from parturition
takea place at the birth of the ;jroung ones ; it is thick
and phlegmatie, and the quantity produced in partu*'
rition is small in proportion to the sise of the Dody.V
Bitdiea generally haye milk fiye days before parturition ; in

>'([0rperbap8) th&t ptttoiilkii ths diiohsf|t bsoones tUalMr ia


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r*; TT.] Tine hibtobt or avtmalb. 167

some cases it appears seyen, and in others four dajs before-
hand ; the milk is cood as soon as the joung are bonL The
Lacedemonian bitch ^ives milk in thirtj dajs after sexual
I ; at first it is thick, but becomes thinner after-
le milk of the bitch is thicker than that of other
cept the sow and the hare,
is evidence of their having reached the age of pu-
ss in the human subject the mamme begin to
become cartilaginous ; it is, however, difficult to
without practice, for the enlargement is not verj
IS takes P{ace in the female, nothing of the kind
\e male. The males generally bc^n to lift up their
s water when they are six monUis old. Some do
till they are eight months old, and others before
months old, for, to speak plainly, they do this as
f reach puberty ; all the females sit down to make
these lift up their l^for
produces more than twelve
smd sometimes only one;
ive eight ; both sexes con-
as loog as they live,
cedemonian dog, that it is
after hard work than when
{rears, the female for twelve,
r fiftieen years, some even
arsons think that Homer is
r Ulysses to have died at
(f the hard work which the
re the female lives longer
B is not so plainly observed,
ed than the female. The
pt those called the canine
exes at four months old.
uestion is raised, for some
f shed only two teeth, for
and others, when they see
they must shed all their
^ a dog by its teeth, for in
tarpy in did ones thej are


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168 Tin HI8T0BT OF AKIMALSr [b. TZ^

Chaptxb XXI.

1. Thb cow is inipregDated with a single act of coition,
and the bull mounts upon her with such violence that she
hands beneath his weight. If he fails to impregnate her
after twenty dajs» she is again admitted to the bull. Old
bulls will not mount the same cow several times in the
same day unless there is some intermission, but young bulls,
incited bj the strength of their desires, will force the same,
cow several times, and will mount upon manj in succession;
The bull is one of the least lascivious of animals. The
conqueror copulates with the female, but if he become im-
potent from frequent sexual intercourse, the inferior will
attack him, and often prevail.

2. Both the male and the female commence sexual inter-
course, so as to produce young, at a year old, though not
generally till they are a year and eight months old, or two
years old according to general agreement. The female is
pregnant nine months, and produces her young in the tenth
month ; some persons affirm that parturition takes place at
ten months to a day ; if any of them calve before the above
mentioned time, the calf is abortive and does not live, and
even if bom a little before the proper time it cannot live»
for the hoofs are imperfect. The female ^nerally produces
one at a time, sometimes two. She continues to bear and
to have sexual intercourse as lone as she lives.

8. The female usually lives mteen years, and so does
the male if he is not castrated ; some live for more than
twenty years if they have an active body. They usually,
place castrated oxen as leaders of the herd, as they do in'
sheep, and these live longer than the others, for they do,
no work, and feed in a superior pasture. They attain per-
fection at five years old, wherefore some say that Homer,
was right when he spoke of the male flounshine at five,
years old, and the cow at nine years old, for both expres-.'
sions have the same meaning.

4. Oxen change their teeth at two years old, not all of thern^
however, but only like the horse ; they do not cast their hoofs
when they are lame, but only swell very much about th^
feet. Hie milk is good immediately after calving, but the
<»w has no milk bdbreband. The milk which is first formed


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lecomeB liard like a ttone when it is cotgulAted; this takes
pbu^ if it ia not mixed with water. They do not produce
young before they are a year old, except in some remariLable
caaes, for tome have been known to copulate at four montha
old. Moat of them desire sexual intercourse in the montha
of April and May. Some, howerer, are not impregnated
before the autumn. When many become presnant and
admit the male, it is a sign of cold and rainy weatner. The
usual discharges occur in cows aa they do in mares, bat the
quantity is less.

Chaptbb XXII.

1. Both the horse and mare begin to use sexual intercourse
at two years old. Such early cases, howerer, are rare, and
their offspring small and yfeak ; and generally they eaof
mence at three years old, and they continue to produce
better colts till they are twenty years old. The period of
gestation is eleyen months ; parturition takes place in the
twelfth. The male does not impregnate the female in any
particular number of days ; but at times in one, two, or
three, sometimes in more. The ass mounts and impregnates
more quickly than the horse ; snd the act of intercourse ia
not laborious in horses as it is in oxen. Next to the human
subject, the horse in both sexes is the most lasdrious of all
animals. The sexual intercourse of the younger horses takes
place before the usual age according to the goodness and
abundance of their food. The horse cenerslly produces but
one colt, or sometimes two at the outside. The bemionus has
also been known to produce two, but this is considered extra*
ordinary. The horse begins sexual intercourse at thirty
months old, so that it can produce proper colts when it. haa
done changing its teeth. Some hare been known, they say,
to impregnate mares while changing their teeth, unless thqf
were naturally barren.

2. The horse has forty teeth. It sheds its four first teeth
at thirty months old, two above and two below. A year
afterwanls, it sheds four more in the same manner, two
abore and two below. And again, at the end of the next
year, it sheds four more in the same manner. When it ia
four years and a half old, it aheds no more ; and indiriduala
have Deea known to shed them aU at firsl^ and others that


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170' tKE UI8T0BT OW AKIILLLS. [b. tl.^

hafe Bhed them til in the last year. These drcumstances
are rare, so that it usually happens that the horse is most '
fit for sexual intercourse at foikr years and a half old. Tbe^
older horses are more full of semen, both the males and the -
females, than youneer ones. Horses will co])ulate both with-
their dams and with their offsmring ; and it is tbouffht to be
a sign that the herd is complete, when they copiuate with
their offsprino;. The Scythians ride upon their pregnant
mares when the embryo begins to turn in the uterus, and '
say that it renders parturition more easy. All other quad* '
rupeds lie down in the act of parturition ; wherefore their '
young are always produced lying on their side; but when ^
the mare feels that the time for parturition is approaching,"
she stands upright to part %nth her colt.

8. Horses generally liye eighteen or twenty years; some~
lire twenW*fi?e or thirty years ; but if they are carefully
treated, their life may be extended to fifty years. Thirty
years, howeyer, is a yery long life for tbe male, and twenty-
fiye for the female. Some haye been known to liye forty
years. Males liye a shorier time than females, on accouut
of the act of sexual intercourse ; and those that are brought *
up separately longer than those which liye in herds, f'e-
males attain their proper length and height in fiye years ;
ihe males in six. in six more years the fulness of body is
acquire^ which continues till they are twenty years old. -
llie females attun perfection more rapidly than the males ; '
but in the uterus the males are the more nipidly deyeloped. *
This is also the case in the human subject. This also tak^^
place in tiiose animals which produce seyeral at a birth. "^

4. They say that tbe mule sucks for six months, but the*^
mare will not permit it to come afterwards, became it *
drags and hurts' her. The horse sucks for a longer time.
The horse and the mule attain perfection after casting
their teeth; and when they haye cast them aU, it is not^
easy to know their age. Wherefore they say that» before^^
easting its teeth, the porse has its mark, which it has not''
aftennffds. After the teeth haye been changed, the age^*
is usually ascertained by the canine tooth; for that m^
riding horses is generally worn down, for the bridle rubs '
against it. In hmes which haye not been ridden, it is lai)ge^
aad not worn. In young horses it is small and shttrp« n


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B., yi.] THX HI8T0BT OV AXIUALB. 171

5. The male copulates at all seasonBy and as long as be
liyes ; the female also as lon^ as she lives ; and at all seasons,
unless the^ have on a fiutemng or some other hindrance, no
peculiar tmie is appropriated for copulation in either sex,
for there is no penod of coition when thej cannot also brinff
up their joung. In Opus there was a horse in a herd
wnich engendered when oe was forty years old ; but it was
necessary to lift up his fore legs for nim. Mares begin to
desire sexual intercourse in the spring ; and when the mare
has foaled, she does not become pr^nant ajgain immediately,
but waits for a time^ and produces better roals at the end of
ibur or five years. It is quite necessary that she should
wait one year, and sbould pass through a fallow, as it were.

6. The horse, then, bears young at intervals, as I have
observed; but the ass is not subject to intervals. Some
mares are quite barren, and others, though they conceive,
yet do not produce their joung; and they give as a reason
for this, that upon dissection the foetus was found to contain
other reniformoodies round the kidneys, so that it appeared
to have four kidneys. As soon as the mare has foaled, she
eats the chorion, and bites from the head of* her foal the
substance called hippomanes. In size this substance is
somewhat less than a dir fig. Its form is flat and round,
and its colour black. Ii any person is at hand to take it
before the mare, and she smells it, the scent renders her
wild and mad. For tliis reason it is sought after and col-
lected by poisoners. If an ass copulates with a pfegnant
mare, the pre-existing foetus is destroyed. Those who keep
herds of horses do not place a leader over them, as they do
over oxen, for they are not naturally stationary, but active
and wandering.

Chaptbb xxni.

1. The male and female^ ass begin to copulate at thirty
months old, and shed their first teeth at the same perioo.
They lose their second pair of teeth six months afterwardsy
and their third and fourth in the same wajr. These fimrth
teeth are called the marking teeth. Sometimes the ass has
become pregnant and brought up its young at a vear dd.
The she ass parts with the semen after coition, if sne is nol
prevented; and therefore, immediately after ooitioD, tbqf


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179 TU HI8T0BT OT AKIHAL8. [b. TX.

beat her and drive her about. She foals in the twdfth
month, and generally produces one foal, for this is their
nature, though cases of twin births have occurred. If an

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 17 of 39)