Aristotle's History of animals. In ten books online

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not BoUtanr. Its colour is similar, though it is a ainaUar
bird, and has no crest. It is used for foowL

5. The ascalopas is generally taken in endosed gardens.
It is of the size of the domestic fowl, it has a long beak, -
and in colour resembles the attagen. It runs quickljy and
is Terjr partial to the neighbourhood of mankind. The
atarling is Tariegated, and is of the sise of the blackbird.

6. There are two kinds of ibis in Egypt; the white and
the bkck. The white live in all the rest of 3g7Pt, but
are not found in Pelusium. The black occur in Bslusium,
but not in other parts of Egypt.

7. One kind or scops, called brown owl, is seen throughout
the year, but it is not eaten, for it is not fit for food. Others .
occur sometimes in the autumn, when they appear for one,
or not more than two days. They are eatable, and ara
highly esteemed. Tbey differ in no respect firom the brown
owl, except in fatness $ and they are silent, whereas the
other has a Toice. No observations have oyer been made
on their mode of generation, except that they appear when
the west wind blows. This is manifest.

Chaptxb XX.

1. Tub cuckoo, as it has been already obserred, makes no
nest, but lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, eepeciaHy
in that of the phaps, and in those of the sparrow and
lark on the ground, and in the nest of the chloris iu
trees. It lays one egg, upon which it does not sit, but
the bird in whose nest it lays both hatches the egg and
nurses the young bird ; and, as they say, when the youngs
cuckoo grows, it ejects the other young birds, which thus,

2* Others say that the mother bird kills them, and fteds
the young cuckoo with them ; for the beauty of the young
cuckoo nuJces her despise her own oflbpring. People assert
that ther hsTO been eye-witnesses of most of time drcum-'
stances, out. all are not equally agreed as to the mode in
which the other young birds pmsh. Some persona mf


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tbat tbe old cuckoo comes and deroun tbe jomig of the
other bird. Others saj that the great size of the young?
cuckoo enables it to seize upon the food which is brought
to the nest, so that the rest perish from starration. Otl^rs
saj that the cuckoo, being the stronger bird, kills those that
are brought up with it.

8. The cuckoo appears to act prudently in thus depositing
W egg; for it is conscious of its own timidity, and that
it cannot defend its youuff, and therefore places them under
the protection of another bird, in order that they may be nre* •
sened ; for this bird is Tery cowardly, and when it is peeked^
by eren small birds, it flies away from them.

Chaptib XXI.

1. That the swift, which some persons call cr)rpsellus,resem«
bles the swallow, hii« been already observed, and it is not
easy to distinguish them apart, eicept that the legs of the
apos are corered with feathers. These birds resr their young
in small nests made of mud, which hare a passage sufficient
for their admission. The nest is constructed in a narrow
place under rocks and caTemS| so that it aroids both beasts
and men.

2. The goatsucker, as it is called, is a mountain bird,
larger than the blackbird, and less than the cuckoo. It lays
two, or not more than three eggs, and is slothful in its dis*
position. It flies against the goats and sucks them, whence
its name (sgothelas, the goat-sucker). They say that when
the udder hu been sucked that it ^tcs no more milk, and
that the goat becomes blind. This bird is not quick sighted
by day, but sees well at niffht.

8. The raTens in small £stricts, and where they haye not
food enouch, are found only in pairs ; and as soon as thdr
young birds are able to fly, the old birds first of all turn them
out <n the nest, and then drire them from the place. The
raTen lays four or fire egss. When the hired soldiers of
Mediae perished in Fharulus, Athens and the Peloponnesus
were deserted by the rarens, as if they had some mesns of
ooDimunicatioa with each other.

Chaptbb XXIL

1. Thzbi are serersl kinds of eaffles. One which is called
pygsigns (hen-harrier)| which is Snmd in plains and groTes^


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and in the vicinity of towns.^ Some persona call it nebro*
phonua. It is a courageous bird, and flies to mountains, and
woods also. The other kinds rarelj appear in plaina and
groTes. There is another kind of eacle called plangus, the
second in point of size and strength, which UTes among
thickets, and vallep, and marshes. It is called nettophonua
andmorphnus. Of this kind Homer speaks at the departure
of Priam.

2. There is another kind, which is black. It is smaller,
and stioxicer than the others. It inhabits mountains and
woods, it is called melanieetus, and lagophonus. This ia
the only one that rears and educates its younff. It is swift,
elc^gant, liberal, fearless, warlike, and of a good omen, for it
neither cries nor screams. There is another kind with spotted
wings. It has a white head, andis the larsest of all eagles.
Its wings are short, and its rump Teiy lonff/like the rulUire ;
it is caUed oreipelargus, .and hypeetus. It inhabita grores.
It has all the faults of the rest, and none of their good
qualities; for it is taken and pursued by ravens and ^er
birds. It is a heavy bird, and!^ its mode of life is bad. It
oairies about dead creatures; it ia always hungry, and
screams and cries.

8. There is another kind of eade called sea ea^le, which
has a long and thick neck, curved wines, and a wide rump.
It inhabits the sea and the coast. When they have seised
their prey, and cannot carry it away, they are borne down
into the sea. There is, again, another kind of eagle, called
true ea^le. Thev say that these alone of all other birds are
true, £r the otner kinds are mixed and crossed with each
other, both eacles, hawks, and other smaller kinds. ^Diia
is the larc^est of all the eagles, greater than the phene ; one
and a half times as large as other eagles, and of a red odour :
it is seldom seen, like tiiat called cymindia.
' 4. The time for theactivity of the ea^le, and for its fli^t|
is from dinner till the evening, for it sits aloft till the tune
when the mariiet-plaoe begina to filL When eaglea srowcU,
their beaks become more and more curved, so that at last they
dieof famine.^ The story ffoes, that the eagle waa once a man,
and sufiers diis as a punisnment for inhospitality to a gnest^
Any supenbundant food is put aside for toeir yonng in their
nests, rar it is not easy for them to procure it every dar, and
aometimea they have no place from whence to briiog ik

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5. If thej find anyone attempting to take tbeir neat^tbej
beat tbem ¥nth tbeir wings, ana tear tbem witb their daws.
Thej do not make tbeir nests in plains, but in bigb places,
especiallj in precipitous rocks, out never on tr^. Tbej
rear their young till thej can fly, and then turn them out of
their nests, and drive them to a great distance ; for one pair
of eagles occupies a wide space of country, so that tiiey will
sufler no others to live near them.

6. Thev do not hunt their prey near tbeir nests, but at a
considerable distance; and when they have bunted and
taken anything, they lay it down and do not take it away at
once, but carry it away when thev have tried its weight.
They do not capture hares at once, but let them escape to
the plain. They do not descend to the plain at once, but
with lar^ though gradually decreasing circles. They
do this in order that they may not be ensnared. They
settle upon eminences, because they cannot rise easily from
the ground. They fly aloft, that they may see the greater
extent of country, lor this cause men say that the eagle
is the only divine bird.

' 7. AU birds with crooked claws avoid sitting upon rocks^
for ita hardness is iujurious to their claws. The eagle hunts
fiiwns, hares, and other animals which it is able to conquer.
It is a long-lived bird. This is plain from the long con-
tinuance of their nests in the same place.

8. In Scvthia there isa kind of bird as large asa bustard,
which produces two jonug ones. It does not sit upon ita
eggs, but hides them in the skin of a hare or fox. It watches
them from a neighbouring tree all the while it is not en-
pffed in hunting its prey. And if anyone approachea them.
It ngfata and struKes with its wings, like the eagle.

CRArm XXin.

L Tn owl and nycticoraz, and the other birds which see
impofectly bv daylight, procure their food by hunting in
the idj^t. They do not this all the night, but in twibght
and at early dawn. They hunt mice, and lisards, and
beetks, and suck other small animals.

2. Tlie bird called aspey produces many youn^ is of
a good habit of body, diligent in search of food, and oentle ;
aiul fbeds both its own young and those of the ea^ i £»


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when the eagle turns out its jonng, the phene takes them
up and feeds them ; for the eagle ejects them before the
proper time, when thej still require feeding, and are unable
to njr. The ea^le appears to eject its young from the nest
from envy ; for it is an envious and hungry bird, and not quick
in seizing its prey. It captures large creatures when it can*
When its young haye grown, it envies them, for ihey are
good for KK)d, and tears them with its claws. The young
also fight in the nest for particular places, and for the food
The parent then turns them out of the nest and strikes
them. When they are turned out they begin to scream,
and the phene comes and takes them up. The phene is
dim-sighted, and its eyes are imperfect.

8. The sea-eagle is very quick-sighted, and compels its
young to gaze on the sun before they are feathered. If any
one of them refuse, it is beaten and turned rotmd: and the
one of them which first weeps when gazing on the sun is
killed, the other is reared. It lives near the sea side, and ob-
tains its food by pursuing marine birds, as it was before
remarked. It pursues and takes them one at a time, watching
them as they emerge from the sea. And if the burd, as it
rises, sees the eagle watching it, it dives again from fear, in
order that it may rise again in another place : but the eagle's
quick sight enables him to pursue the bird till it is either
suffocated, or taken on the win^ ; but it never attacks them
in any numbers, for they drive it away by sprin)ding it with
their wings.

4. The petrels are taken with foam, for they devour it.
They are tnerefore taken by sprinkling them. All the rest
of its flesh is good ; the rump alone smells of seaweed, and
they are fat.

Chapteb XXIV.

1. Thb buzzard is the strongest of the hawks; next to this
the merlin. The circus is lees strong; the asterias and
pha8sq>honus, and ptemis are different The wide-wmged
nawks are called hypotriorches, others are called perd and
spizi»; others are tneeleii and the phrynolochi; these Urdi
live very easily, and fly near the ground.
• 2. 8<nne persons say that Hnere are no less than ten kinds
«f hawks; they differ from each other, for some of than


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254 THl HI8T0BT OW AHIICAXS. [b. n>

kill the pigeon as it perches on the ground, and carry it
away, but do not toucn it in flight ; others attack it as it
sits upon the trees, or in some such situation, but will not
touch it when upon the pound or in flight ; other kinds of
hawks will not strike toe bird when perchinff upon the
ground or anywhere else^ but will endearour to attack it
when in flight.

8. They say that the pigeons can distinguish each of these
kinds, so that if they see one of those which attack them in
the air flying towards them, they remain sitting where
they are, but if it is one of those which strike them on the
ground, they do not remain still, but fly away.

4. In the city of Thrace, formerly called Cedropolis^
men are assist^ by hawks in pursuing birds in the
marshes. They strike the reeds and wood with sticks
in order that tiie birds may fly up, and the hawks ap-
pearing aboye pursue them, the oirds then &11 to the
earth through fear, when the men strike them with their
sticks and take them, and diride the nrey with the hawks,
for they throw away some of the Dirds, and the hawks
come and take them.

5. On the Palus MoDotis, thej^ say that wolyes are
accustomed to assist the fishermen in their calling, and if
they do not giye them their share of the food, they destroy
the nets that are laid to dry on the ground. This, then, is
the nature of birds.


]. MAsnrB animals also haye many artful wm of pro-
curing their food, for the stories that are told of the batra-
chus, which is called the fisher, are true, and so are those of
the naroe. For the batrachus has appendages aboye its
eyes, of the length of a hair, with a round extremity to
each like a bait ; it buries itself in the sand or mud, and
raises these appendages above the surface, and when the
•mall fish strike them, it draws them down, till it brings
the fish within reach of its mouth.

2. The narce stupefies any fish it may wish to master,
with the peculiar force which it has in its bod^, and then
takes and firads upon them; it lies concealed in sand and


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mud, and captures as thej swim over it any fisb that it can
take and stupefy; of this circumstance many persons^ have
been witnesses ; the try-on also hides itself, out not in the
same manner ; the folWing is a proof of their mode of
life, for they are often taken with the cestreuii yi their
stomach, which is the swiftest of fishes, and they are the
slowest ; and the batrachus, when nothin^^ is left on the
hair-like appendages, is taken in an emaciated condition.
The narce also has plainly caused stupefaction in men.

8. The onus, batus, psetta, and rhine also burr themsehrea
in the sand, and when they have hidden themseiTes, the ap-
pendage which is in their mouth stands up, this the
fishermen call their staff, and the small fish approach it
as if it was the sea*weed, on which they usually lire.
Wherever the anthias is found there are no obnoxious crea*
tures ; when this sign is obserred, those who collect sponcet
dire for them there, and call the anthias the sacred fisn ;
this is only a coincidence, just as the pig and partridge
are noTor found where there are snails, for they thm

4. The marine-serpent, in colour and in the form of its
body, resembles the conger, but it is darker, and more power-
ful. If it is captured and allowed to escape, it buries itself
in the sand, which it pierces with its snou^ for its snout
is sharper than that of a serpent. The creature called

• scolopendra when it has swallowed the hook turns itself
inside out, till the hook is ejected, when it turns to its
original form. The scolopendra, like that which inhabita
the land, is attracted by tne smell of cooked meat; it does
not bite with the mouth, but stings with the oontaot of
the whole body, Uke the creatures cidled sea-nettles.

5. The fish called alopex, when one of them hu swal-
lowed the hook, assist Mch other in this matter, as the
scolopendra also does, for they collect together round
the Ime and bite it off; in some places, where the water ia
swift and deep, they are taken with many hooks in them.
The ami» also collect together when they see any dbmndoua
creatuie near them, and the largest awim round them in
a circle; when attacked, the;^ defend themael?es; they
hate stronff teeth, and the lamia and other creaturea when
attacking ttiem haye been teen to be repulsed inth wounda.


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6. Among rirer fisb the male glanit is Tery careful of
his young firy, but the female goes away as soon as she has
deposited her ora, but the male continues to watch by the
greater number of the ova, paying them no more attention
than to drive away other fish, that tbey may not carry away
tbe ova; he is thus employed for forty or fifty days,
until the young firy are so far grown that they can es-
cape from other fish ; the fishermen know when it is guarding
its ova, for it drives away other fish, and as it jumps at them
it makes a noise and a murmur. It remains with such af-
fection beside its ova, that if they are deposited in deep
water, and the fishermen attempt to bnng them into
shallow water, the fish wiU not forsake them; but if
young it is easily taken vnth a hook, from its habit of seizing
upon any fish that may come in its way ; but if it is ex-
perienced, and has swallowed a hook before, it does not
leave its ova^ but with its hard teeth it will bite and destroy
the hook.

7. All creatures with fins, and stationary animals, inhabit
either the places in which they were born, or similar lo-
adities, for their peculiar food is found in such places. The
carnivorous fish are the greatest wanderers ; all are carni-
vorous with a few exceptions, as the cestreus, salpa, trigla,
and chalcis. The mucous substance which the pholis emits
forms around it, and resembles a chamber. Of the apo-
dal testacea, the pecten is the most locomotive, for it flies
by means of its own valvea; the purpura and its congeners
advance very slowly.

8. All the fish except the cobius leave the Pyrrhic Euripus
during the winter on account of the cold, for the Euripus is
colder than the sea, and return asain in the spring. Li the
Euripus tiie scarus, the thrissa, afl the thorny fish, the gains,
acanthia, carabus, poljpus, bolitiena, and some others are
wanting, and ct those that are produced in the Euripus, the
white oobius is not an inhabitant of the sea. Those fish
which have ova are in the highest season in the spring,
before they produce their ova ; those that are viviparous m
the autumn, and besides these the cestreus, triffla, and their
congeners. In the neighbourhood of Lesbos, both the ma-
rine fish and those m the Euripus produce their ova in
tha Siripus; they copulate in the ^autumn, and. deposit


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tbeir 0T» in the spriDg. The males and females of the ae-
lachea also mix togetheri innumben, in the autumn, for the
purpose of copulation; but in the spring they separata
until thej have produced their young; at the penod dT
sexual intercourse, they are often taken united together.

9. The sepia is the most cunning of the malaoa, and is
the only one which uses its iok for the purpose of conceal*
ment, when it is not alarmed. The polypus and teuthis
emit their ink only when alarmed. Toese creatures never
emit all tbeir ink, and as soon as it is emitted it is secreted
again. But the sepia, as it has already been remarked,
makes use of its ink for the purposes of concealment, and
when it pretends to advance, it returns into its ink. With
its long extended tentacula it not only pursues small fish,
but frequently attacks the cestreus. The polypus is a foolish
creature, for it will approach a man*s hand it brought near
it. ' It is an economical animal, for it collects all its prey in
the hole in which it dwells, and when the most useful part
has been consumed, it ejects the shells, the coverings of
the cancri, and conchylia, and the spines of the fish, it pur-
sues any fish that may come in its way, changing its ooloor
and imitating that of any neighbouring stone. It does the
same thing when alarmed.

10. Some persons say that the sepia has power to do the
same thing, and that it can imitate the colour of the place
it inhabits. Tbe rhine is the only fish endowed with the
same power, for it can change its colours like the poly-
pus. The polypus rarely lives for two years, for it is by
nature subject to decay. This is a proof of it, that when
pressed, this animal always emits something, until at last it
consumes away. The females suffer so much from this in
tiie period of parturition^ as to become foolish, and not perw
ceive any agitation of the waves, so that they are euily
taken by the hand of the diver; they become like nlucuSi
and are not able to pursue their prev.

11. The males become hard and shining. This appears to
be a'proof that they do not survive a year, thi^ in the
summer and autumn, after the production of the yenng,
it is difficult to find a large polypna, tkouch laige

abundant a short time b^ore ; when they have pro-
dnoed thdr oTa» they laj that both seses grow old and be-

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come 80 weak, thai tbej are deroured bjr small fish, and .
are easily dragged out of their holes, though before they
would haTe permitted nothing of the kind. Thejr also saj
that the small and young ones will not endure this, and that
they are stronger than the large ones. The sepia also only
lires one year ; the polypus is the only one oi the malacia
that eier yentures upon dry land, it adyances upon a rough
surface, but ayoids smooth places. In other respects, it is
a stront; animal, but its ueck, if pressed, becomes yery weak.
12. This is the nature of the malacia. They say that
.... form their rou^h shells round themselyes like a hard
breastplate, which increases as they grow, and that they
can l^ye these, *as if they were a hole or a habitation.
The nautilus is a polypus peculiar both in its nature and its
actions; for it sails upon the surface of the sea, rising
up from the depths ot the waters. It is brought to the
surface with its shell inyerted, in order that it may go out
more eauily and navigate in an emnty shelL When it
reaches the surface, it turns its shell oyer. There is a
membrane extended between two of its tentacula similar
to the web feet of birds, except that theirs is thick and that
of the nautilus thin and like a spider's web. This it uses
for a sail when the wind blows, and it extends two of its
tentacula for rudders. If alarmed, it fills its shell and sinks
in the sea. No one has made any accurate obseryation on the
production and growth of the shell. It appears not to ori-
ginate in sexual intercourse, but to be produced like that of
other conchylia, nor is it dear whether it can liye when
taken out of its shdL


1. Tui most laborious of all insects, if compared with the
rest, are the tribes of ants and bees, with the hornets, wasps,
and their other congeners. Some of the spiders are more
neat, graceful, and skilful than others in their mode of life.
Every one may see the diligence of the ant ; for it is on the
surface, and tiiat they always travel in one direction, and
make a store and treasure-house of food, for they work even
in the night when there is a full moon.

2. There are many kinds of spidenrs and phalangia. Of
tiw phalangia that bite tiiers are two sorts. Tht one re-

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B. IZ.] THE HI8T0BT 07 AXTUkLM. 259

sembles those called wolves. It is small, Tariegated, sbarp,
and actire in jumping. It is called psylla. The othnr is
Wger. Its colour is black, and its fore-legs are long. Its
moToments are slow, and it can scarcely walk. It is not
strong, nor capable oHumping. The other kinds, which the
dealers in meaicine ofbr for sale, either do not bite at all, or
▼ery slightly.

8. There is another kind of those called wolres. One
is small, and makes no web, and the larger sort makes a
coarse inferior web upon the ground or in hedges. It always
makes its web oyer chinks in the soil, and with the origin ot
the web in the interior it keeps guard until something falls
into the web and moTCs it, when it comes out. The ts-
riegated kind makes a small inferior web among trees.

4. There is another third kind, which is Tery skilful and
graceful. It commences the process of weanne by extend-
ing its web to the extremities on all sides, and then it draws
a thread from the centre, and takes up the centre cor-
rectly. Upon these threads it weares, as it were, the woof,
and then weares them altogether. Its sleeping place and
store-room are situated at a distance. In seeung its prey
it watches in the middle of its web. When anything
falls into tiie web and the centre is moved, the spider sur-
rounds and encloses it in a web, until it is rendered power-
less, and then takes it up and carries it to her store. If
hungry, she sucks it, for this is their method of enjoyment ;
and if not hungry, hastens back for the pursuit ot more
pr^, and in the first place mends her broken web.

5. If anything in tne meanwhile has fidlen into the web,
she first goes to the centre, and from that point, as before,
falls upon her victim. If anjroue destroys the web, she

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