Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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from Plrofessor Bell's Catalogue of Animals in CaptainSpratt's
work on Ljda ; and the cephalopods are named from Fro-
frssor Owen's article on that dasi, in the Cyclopedia of
Anatomy. It is hoped, therefore, that the Index will be
finmd to contain a greater number of suggestions for the
identification of the animals mentioned by Aristotle than
bsfo been hitherto published coUectiTely. It is also right to
add, that it hu been compiled after the translation was com*
plotod; aad,therefors,in any difierences which may be found
between the identifications at the foot of the page and those
gtwmk in the Index, the reader will rathw prefer the latter,
ae the resiilt of later research in works whieh were not ae-
eeasibls whan die translation was made.

• Afriiao^iMi. s.a


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Chaptsb I.

1. Soins parts of animals are simple, and these can be
divided into like parts, as flesh into meees of flesh ; others are
compound, and cannot be divided into like parts, as the
hand cannot be divided into hands, nor the face into faces.
Of these some are not only caUed pi^, but members, such as
those which, though entire in themselves, are made up of
other parts, as the head and the leg, the huid and the entire
arm, or the trunk ; for these parts are both entire in them-
selves, and made up of other parts.

2. All the compound parts also are made up of simple
parts, the hand, for example, of flesh, and sinew, and bone.
Some animals have all these parts the same, in others they
ore diflerent from each other. Some of the parts are the
same in form, as the nose and eye of one man is the same as
the nose and eye of another man, and flesh is the same with
flesh, and bone with bone. In like manner we may compare
the parts of the horse, and of other animals, those parts, that
is, which are the same in species, for the whole bears the same
relation to the whole as the parts do to each other. And in
animals belonging to the same class, the parts are the same,
onlvth^difier in excess or defect. By class, I mean such as
bird or fish, for all these differ if either compared with their
own dass or with another, and there are many forms of
birds and fishes.

8. Nearly all their parts differ in them aooordinff to the
opposition of their external qualitiesy audi as cdour or
ihapoi in that some are morep others are less affected, or


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2 THE niSTO&T OF AVIHAL8. [b. I.

Bometimes in number more or less, or in size greater and.
smaller, or in anj quality which can be included in excess
or defect. For some animals have a soft skin, in others the
skin is shelly ; some have a long bill, as cranes, others a
short one ; some have many feathers, others Tery few ; some
also hare parts which are wanting in others, for some species
hare spurs, others have none ; some have a crest, others have
not. jBut, so to say, their principal parts and those which
form the bulk of their body, are either the same, or vary
only in their opposites, and in excess and defect.

4. By excess and defect I mean the p;reater and the less.
But some animals agree with each other in their parts neither
in form, nor in excess and defect, but have only an analogous
likeness, such as a bone b^urs to a spine, a nail to a hoof,
a hand to a crab's claw, the scale of a fish to the feather of
a bird, for that which is a feather in the birds is a scale in
the fish. With regard then to the parts which each class
of animal possesses, they acree and difier in this manner,
and also in the position of the parts. For many animals
have the same parts, but not in the same position, as the
mamm» which are either pectoral or abdominal. But of the
simple parts some are soft and moist, others hard and dry.

5. The soft parts are either entirely so, or so long as they
are in a natural condition, as blood, serum, fat, tallow, mar-
row, semen, gall, milk (in those animals which give milk),
flesh, and other analogoiis parts of the body. . £i another
manner also the excretions of the body belong to this class,
as phlegm, and the excrements of the abdomen and bladder ;
the hard and dry parts are sinew, skin, vein, hair, bone, car-
tilage, nail, horn, for that part b^urs the same name, and on
the whole is called horn, and the other parts of the body
which are analogous to these.

6. Animals also difier in their manner of life, in their ac-
tions and dispositions, and in their parts. We wiU first of
all speak generaUy of these difierences, and. afterwards con-
sider each species separately. The following are the points
in which they vary m manner of life, in their actions and

• dispositions. Some animals are aquatic, others live on the
land ; and the aquatic may again be divided into two dasses^
for some entirely exist and procure their food in the water,
«nd take in and give out water, and cannot live without it;


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B. I.] xns niBTOBT or urniALS, 8

this is the nature of most fishes. But there are others
which, though thej live and feed in the water, do not take
in water but air, and produce their jounc out of the water.
Many of these animals are furnish^ with feet, as the otter
and the lataz' and the crocodile, or with wings, as the seagull
and diver, and others are without feet, as the water-serpent.
Borne procure their food from the water, and cannot live out
of the water, but neither inhale air nor water, as the acalepbs*
and the oyster.

7. Different aquatic animals are found in the sea, in rivers,
in lakes, and in marshes, as the frog and newt, and of
marine animals some are pelagic, some littoral, imd some
sazatile. Some land animals take in and give out air, and
this is called inhaling and exhaling ; such are man, and all
other land animals which are furnished with lunp ; some,
however, which procure their food from the earth, do not
inhale air, as the wasp, the bee, and all other insects.' B^
insects I mean those animals which have divisions in their
bodies, whether in the lower part onlVi or both in the upper
and lower. Many land animals, as 1 have already observed,
procure their food from the water, but there are no aquatic or"
marine animals which find their food on land. There are
some animals which at first inhabit the water, but afterwards
change into a different form, and live out of the water ; this
happens to the gnat in the rivers, and •• •• ..^ which
afterwards becomes an oestrum.*

8. Again, there are some creatures which are stationarj^,
while others are locomotive ; the fixed animals are aquatic,
but this is not the case with any of the inhabitants of the
land. Many aquatic animals also grow upon each other ;
this is the case with several genera of shell-nsh : the sponge
also exhibits some signs of sensation, for thej saj that it is
drawn up with some difficulty, unless the attempt to remove
it is made stealthilv. Other animals also there are which
are alternately fixea together or free, this is the case with a
certain kind of acalepl^ ; some of these become separated
during the night, and emigrate. Man v animals are sepanto
firom each other, but incapable of voluntary movement^ as

> BetTor,Caitor flbar. * Hednn, or perii^ Actinia, or both.
* Under iho dMt lirra^ M« pffofcNOitv iiiflliid^

•BomowofdisppMrtoboktlialfaMplaoti • MmmhW^if.

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Digitized b

4 THE niSTOBT OV AinitALS. L>« !• '

OTsten, and the animal called holothnria.' Some aqoatio
animala are awimmen, as fiah, and the moUusca,* and the
malacoatraca, aa the crahs. Others creep on the bottom, aa
the crab, for this, though an aquatic animal, naturallj creeps*

9. Of land animals some are furnished with wings, as birds
and bees, and these differ in other respects from each other ;
others hare feet, and of this class some species walk, others
crawl, and others creep in the mud. There is no animal which
has only wings as fish hare only fins, for those animals whose
wings are formed by an expansion of the skin can wi^,
and the bat has feet, the seal has imperfect feet. Among
birds there are some with rery imperfect feet, which are
therefore called apodes ; they are, nowever, provided with
Tery strong wings, and almost all birds that are similar to
this one hare strong wiuCT and imperfect feet, as the swallow
and drepanis^ for all this class of birds is alike both in ha*
bits and in the structure of their win^ and their whole
appearance is yery similar. The apoe* is seen at all times
of the year, but the drepams can only be taken in rainv
weather during the summer, and on the whole is a rare bira.
• 10. Many animals, howerer, can both walk and swim.
The foUowmg are the differences exhibited by animals in
thdr habits and their actions. Some of them are gregarious,
and others solitary, both in the classes which are furnished
with feet, and those which have wings, or fins. Some partake
of both characters, and of those that are grc^garious, as well
as those that are solitary, some unite in societies and some
are scattered. Gregarious birds are such as the pijjeon, <
stork, swan, but no bird with hooked daws is greganous.
Among swimming animals some fish are gregarious, as the
. dromas,* tunny, pelamis,* amia.^

IL But man partakes of both Qualities* Those which
haye a common employment are called social, but that is
not the case with all gregarious animals. Man, and the
bee, the wasp, and the ant, and the stork- belong to this
dass. Some of these obey a leader, others are anarchical;
the stork and the bee are of the former dass, the ant and
many others bdong to the latter* Some anunals, both in

>FlHlispfMBMfpeci0tofZooplnrts. * CtpluJopodt.

^V^Am^BuAmutSak. •Swift. * Some mlgralofy fiah*

• A Und oT tanoT, ttitt cdled pdMnrds al Mmtillst.
« A kU c£ tvw, L« ^onitoiis (Oum.)


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the gregarious and solitary daaa, are limited to one locality,
others are migratory. Inhere are also camiToroos animals^
herbivorous, omnivorous, and others which eat peculiar
food, as the bee and the spider ; the former eats only honej
and a few other sweet thmgs, while spiders prey up<m flies*
and there are other animals which feed entirely on fish, Bomis
fnmPiU hunt for their food, and some make a store, which
others do not. There are also animals which make habita- •
tions for themselves, and others which do not. The mole,
the mouse, the ant, and the bee, make habitations, but many
kinds both of insects and quadrupeds make no dwelling.

12. With regard to situation, some are trofflodite, as lisards
and serpents, others, as the horse and dog, five upon the sur- .
iaoe of the earth. Some kinds of animals burrow in the
ground, others do not ; some animals are nocturnal, as the owl
and the bat, others use the hours of daylicht. There are
tame animals and wild animals. Man and toe mule are al*
ways tame, the leopard and the wolf are invariably wild, and
others, as the elephant, are easily tamed. We may, however,
view them in another way, for all the genera that have been
tamed are found wild also, as horses, oxen, swine, sheep,
goats, and dogs.

18. Some animals utter a loud cry; some are silent, and
others have a voice, which in some cases may be expressed
by a word, in others it cannot. There are also noisy
animals and silent animals, musical and unmusical kinds,
but they are mostly noisy about the breeding season. Some,
as the dove, frequent fields, others, as the hoopoe, five
on the mountains ; some attach themselves to man, as the

iiigeon. Some are lascivious, as the partridge and domestic
owl, and others are chaste, as the raven, which rarely

14. Again, there are classes of animals furnished with
weapons of ofience, others with weapons of defence ; in the
former I indude those which are capable of inflicting an in«
jury, or of defending themselves when they are atta^ed ; iii
the latter those which are provided with some natural pro*
tection against injury.

' 15. Animals also exhibit many differences of dispositictt.
Some are gentle^ peaceful, and not violent, as the ox. Some
are violantipaawimiatei and intgadable^ as the wild boar. Sotoe


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6 Tnx niSTOBT or aitimals; [b. I.-

mi6 ^dent tnd fearful, aa the Btag and the hare. Serpents
are illiberal and craftjr. Others, as the lion, are lioenl,
noble, and senerous. Others are brave, wild, and craftj,
like the wolf. For there is this difference between tfie
gmeroos and the brave — the former means that which comes
of a noble race, the latter that which does not easily depart
from its own nature.

16. Some animals are cunning and eril-disposed, as the
fox; others, as the dog:, are fierce, friendly, and &wning.
Some are gentle and eauly tamed, as the elephant ; some are
snseeptible of shame, and watchful, as the goose. Some
are jmIous, and fond of ornament, as the peacock. But man
is the only animal capable of reasonmg, though many
others possess the factuty of memory and instruction in
common with him. No other animal but man has the power
of recollection. In another place we will treat more accu-»
ntdy i^the disposition and manner of life in each class.


1. All animals possess in common those parts by which they
take in food, and into which they receive it. But these
parts apee or differ in the same way as all the other parts
of bodies, that is, either in shape or size, or proportion or
position; and besides these, almost all animals possess many
other parts in common, such as those b^ which they reiect
their excrements, (and the part by which they talce their
food,)* though this does not exist in all. The part by whid^
the food is taken in is called the mouth, that which receives
the food from the month is called the stomach. The part
bj iriiidi they reject the excrement has many names.

2. The excrement being of two kinds, the animals which
posscii receptacles for the fluid excrement have also recepta-.
des for tiie dry ; but those which have the latter are not
alwavs furnished with the former. Wherefore all animals
whica have a bladder have a belly also, but not all that have
abdljrhave a bladder; for the part appropriated to tho
reoep&m of the liquid excrement is callea the bladder, and
thatfor the reception of the dry is called the belly.

S. Many animals possess both these parts, and that also
W fdiich the semen is emitted. Among animals that have
tM power of generatioDy some emit ihe semen into thenn
> 1lM wofdi ia tesekili ihodd piobi^f bs odnded ftm tht ti^


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3. I.] VHB HI8T0BT 07 AVIXAXfl. 7

selves, and some inject it into others. The fonner are
called female, the latter male. In some animals there is
neither male nor female, and there is a diversity in the form
of the parts appropriated to this olRce. For some animals
have a uterus, others have only something analogous to the
uterus. These are the most essential organs; some of
which exist in all animals, others in the majority only.

Chapteb III.

1. There is only one sense, that of touch, which is common
to all animals ; so that no exact name can be given to the
part in which this sense resides, for in some animals it is
the same, in others only analogous.
. 2. Every living creature is furnished with moisture, and
must die, if deprived of this moisture either in the course
of nature or by force. But in what part of the body this
moisture resides is another question. In some animals it is
found in the blood and veins, in others the situation is only
analogous, but these are imperfect, as fibres and serum.* The
sense of touch resides in the simple parts, as in the flesh and
in similar places, and generally in tliose parts which contain
blood, at least in those animals which have blood ; in others
it resides in the analogous parts, but in all animals in the

8. The capacity of action resides in the compound parts,
as the preparation of food in the mouth, and the power of
locomotion in the feet or wings, or the analogous parts.
Again, some animals are sanguineous, as man, the horse, and
all perfect animals, whether apodous, bipeds, or quadrupeds ;
and some animals are without blood, as the bee and the
wasp, and such marine animals as the sepia and the canbus,*
and all animals with more than four legs.

Chapteb IV.

1. Thsbx are also viviparous, oviparous, and vermiparouB
animals. The viviparous, are such as man, and the horse, tiie
seal, and others which have hair, and^among marine animals
the cetaoea^ as the dolphin and those which are called seiadie.*

' Fibfw sad Mmm, at ee wpa rad with vsint and bloodt nftr to the
citealatioQ in auiinali without rod Uood.
* Faliaunit, Spiaj LebrtiT. .'ObrtilafiBoaii


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Some of these are furnished with a blow-hole, but hare no
fl;ills, as the dolphin and the whale. The dolphm has its
olow-hole on the back, the whale in its forehead; others
hare open gills, as the selache, the galeus,* and the batas.'
That is called the egg of the perfect foetus, from which the
future animal is produced, from a part at first, while the
remainder serres for its food. The worm is that from the
whole of which the future animal is produced, and the
foBtus afterwards acquires parts and increases in size.

2. Some yiriparous animals are internally oviparous, as
the selache ; others are internally yiviparous, as mankind
and the horse. In different animals toe foetus assumes a
different form, when first brought into the world, and is
either a living creature, an egg, or a worm. Hie eggs of
aome animals, as birds, are hard-shelled, and are <n two
colours. Those of the selache and some other animals are
aoft-skinned, and have only one colour. Some species of the
yermiform foetus are capable of motion, others are not. But
m another place, when we treat of generation^ we will dwell
tnore accurately on those subjects.

Chaptib y.

1. Some animals hlive feet, others have none ; of the for-
mer some have two feet, as mankind and birds only ; others
have four, as the lizard and the dog ; others, as the scolopen*
dn and bee, have many feet ; but all have their feet in pairs.

2. And amonff apodous swimming animals some have
fins, as fish ; and of these some have two fins in the upper
and two in the lower part of their bodies, as the chryso-
phys* and labrax;* others, which are very long and smooth,
nave only two fins, as the eel and cpn|;er; others have none
at all, as the lamprey and others, which live in the sea as
serpents do on land, and in like manner swim in moistnlaces ;
and some of the ffenus selache, as those which are flat and
have tails, as the oatos and tryeon, have no JBns ; these fish
swim by means of their flat sunaces; but the batrachui^haa
flns, and so have all th^se flsh which are not very thin in pro-
portion to their width.

8. But the animals which have apparent feet, as the cepha-

t gqoahit gileiat. * Btlabtlof. * Sptrot swtliit.

* Piraa ItMi. * Lophtns pitostoriiit tad alio L. btrbstui.



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lopods, swim both with their feet and fins, and more qoicUj
upon the hollow parts of their bodies, as the sepia, teuthisi
and polypus ; but none of ^em can walk except the polypus.
Those animals which have hard skins, as the carabus, swim
with their hinder parts, and more very ouickly upon their
tail, with the fins which are upon it, ana the newt ooth witii
its feet and tail, and (to compare small things with great) it
has a tail like the glanis.'

4. Some winged animals, as the eagle and the hawk, are
feathered; others, as the cockchafer and the bee, mem-
branaceous wings ; and others, as the alopex' and the bat,
have wings formed of skin. Both the feathered and leather-
winged tribes have blood ; but the insects, which have naked
wings, have no blood. Again, the feathered and leather-
vnnged animals are all either bipeds or aiK>dous, for thej say
that there are winfi;ed serpents in Ethiopia.*

5. The feathered tribe of animals is called birds ; the other
two tribes have no exact names. Among winged creatures
without blood some are coleopterous, for they have elvtra
over their wings, as the cockchMer and the beetles, and othem
are without elytra. Tlie animals of this dass have either
two or four wings. Those with four wings are distin-
guished by their greater size or a caudal sting. The diptera
are either such as are small, or have a sting in their head.
The coleoptera have no sting at all; the diptera havea sting
in their head, as the fly, horse-fly, gad-fly, and gnat.

6. All bloodless animals, except a few marine species of
the cephalopoda, are smaller than those which have blood.
These animals are the largest in warm waters, and more so
in the sea than on the land, and in fresh water. AUcreaturea
that are capable of motion are moved by four or more limbs.
Those with blood have four limbs only, as man haa two
hands and two feet. Birds have two wmgs and two feet ;
quadrupeds and fishes have four feet or four fins. Buttboac
animals which have two wings or none at all, as the serpent,
are nevertheless moved by four limbs; for the bendinga d
their body are four in number, or two when they haTt twc

1 Saunif ^snii,!!. ffltrtck). * FkobtUy soim kind of ^yhif
•qninreL * Hnrodoiiis, &.76t "thtformoCUiitMfpeiiili iimiW]
to thst of the waltf^OMks t ite. winn an Bol (asUMNd, bol lika those o
bstiiP' the il^«c»stlnfaM7 hare civt

r maj hare givniittta this stoiy*


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10 VHX nisTOBT or akihals* [b. t«

7. Thoie bloodless animals which hare more than four
feet, whether furnished with feet or wings, always have more
thui four organs of locomotion, as the ephemera, which has
four feet and four wings ; and in this it not only a^^rees with
its peculiar manner of life, from which also it derives
its name, but also that it is winged and four-footed; and
dl creatures, whether they have four feet or many feet,
move in the same direction, for the^ all move in the long
way of their bodies. All other animals have two leading
feet^ the crab alone has four.

Chaptbb VI.

1. Thb following are the principal classes which include other
animals — ^birds, fishes, cetacea. All these have red blood.
There is another class of animals covered with a shell, and
called shell fish, and an anourous class of sofb-shelled
animals (malacostraca), which includes carabi, carcini, and
astaci ; and another of moUusca, such as teuthis, teuthos, and
aepia ; and another class of annulose animals. All these are
without blood, and the species with feet have many feet.
There are no lai^ classes of other animals ; for there are
many forms which are not included under a single form, but
either stand alone, havinc no specific difference, as man, or
bave specific differences, but the classes are anonvmous.

2. All animals with four feet and no wings have blood.
Some of these are viviparous, others oviparous. The yivi«
parous are not all covered with hair, but the oviparous have
scales. The scale of a reptile is similar in situation to the
scale of a fish. The dass of serpents, sanguineous land ani-
mals, is naturally without feet. Though some have feet, this
^ass is also covered with scales. All serpents, except the
riper, are oviparous. The viper alone is viviparous, so that
not all viviparous animals have hair; for some fishes also are
Tiviparous. AH animals, however, that have hair are vivi-
parous ; for we may consider the prickles o£ the hedgehog
and porcupine as analcwous to the hair of animals ; for they
•otwer tM purpose of hair, and not^ as in marine animab
tbai are so covered, of feet^

8« There are also many classes of viviparous quadmpedsi


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but they have noTer leceived names. Each ka^J must,
therefore, be taken separately, as man, as we speak of lion,
stag, horse, doc^, and of others in like manner. There is,
however, one dass of those that have a mane called lophnri,'
as the horse, ass, mule, ginnus,* hinnus, and those which in
Syria are called mules,* from their resemblance, though not
auite of the same form. They copulate and produce young
m>m each other, so that it is necessary to consider well the
nature of each of them separately.

4. We have now treated of these things in an outline, for
the sake of giving a taste of what we are afterwards to
consider, and of how many. Hereafter we will npenk of them
more accurately, in order that we may first of all examine

Online LibraryAristotleAristotle's History of animals. In ten books → online text (page 2 of 39)