Thursday, March 01, 2007

historia animalium

Of the parts of animals some are simple: to wit, all such divide into parts uniform with themselves, as flesh into flesh; others are composite, such as divide into parts not uniform with themselves, as, for instance, the hand does not divide into hands nor the face into faces.
And of such as these some are called not parts merely, but limbs or members. Such are those parts that, while entire in themselves, have within themselves other diverse parts: as for instance, the head, foot, hand, the arm as a whole, the chest; for these are all in themselves entire parts, and there are other diverse parts belonging to them.
…Once again, we may have to do with animals whose parts are neither identical in form nor yet identical save for differences in the way of excess or defect: but they are the same only in the way of analogy, as, for instance, bone is only analogous to fish-bone, nail to hoof, hand to claw, and scale to feather; for what the feather is in a bird, the scale is in a fish.
…The active faculties, on the contrary, are seated in the parts that are heterogeneous: as, for instance, the business of preparing the food is seated in the mouth, and the office of locomotion in the feet, the wings, or in organs to correspond.
…Of viviparous animals, some hatch eggs in their own interior, as creatures of the shark kind; others engender in their interior a live fetus, as man and the horse. When the result of conception is perfected, with some animals a living creature is brought forth, with others an egg is brought to light, with others a grub. Of the eggs, some have egg-shells and are of two different colours within, such as birds’ eggs; others are soft-skinned and of uniform colour, as the eggs of animals of the shark kind.
…Furthermore, some animals have feet and some are destitute thereof. Of such as have feet, some animals have two, as is the case with men and birds, and with men and birds only; some have four, as the lizard and the dog; some have more, as the centipede and the bee; but allsoever that have feet have an even number of them.


Historia AnimaliumBook 1

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