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History of Animals   


outer skin is removed, it is found to have the place where eyes are
usually situated, and the black parts of the eyes rightly situated,
and all the place that is usually devoted on the outside to eyes:
showing that the parts are stunted in development, and the skin
allowed to grow over.
10

Of the eye the white is pretty much the same in all creatures; but
what is called the black differs in various animals. Some have the rim
black, some distinctly blue, some greyish-blue, some greenish; and
this last colour is the sign of an excellent disposition, and is
particularly well adapted for sharpness of vision. Man is the only, or
nearly the only, creature, that has eyes of diverse colours.
Animals, as a rule, have eyes of one colour only. Some horses have
blue eyes.
Of eyes, some are large, some small, some medium-sized; of these,
the medium-sized are the best. Moreover, eyes sometimes protrude,
sometimes recede, sometimes are neither protruding nor receding. Of
these, the receding eye is in all animals the most acute; but the last
kind are the sign of the best disposition. Again, eyes are sometimes
inclined to wink under observation, sometimes to remain open and
staring, and sometimes are disposed neither to wink nor stare. The
last kind are the sign of the best nature, and of the others, the
latter kind indicates impudence, and the former indecision.
11

Furthermore, there is a portion of the head, whereby an animal
hears, a part incapable of breathing, the 'ear'. I say 'incapable of
breathing', for Alcmaeon is mistaken when he says that goats inspire
through their ears. Of the ear one part is unnamed, the other part
is called the 'lobe'; and it is entirely composed of gristle and
flesh. The ear is constructed internally like the trumpet-shell, and
the innermost bone is like the ear itself, and into it at the end
the sound makes its way, as into the bottom of a jar. This
receptacle does not communicate by any passage with the brain, but
does so with the palate, and a vein extends from the brain towards it.
The eyes also are connected with the brain, and each of them lies at
the end of a little vein. Of animals possessed of ears man is the only
one that cannot move this organ. Of creatures possessed of hearing,
some have ears, whilst others have none, but merely have the
passages for ears visible, as, for example, feathered animals or
animals coated with horny tessellates.
Viviparous animals, with the exception of the seal, the dolphin,
and those others which after a similar fashion to these are cetaceans,
are all provided with ears; for, by the way, the shark-kind are also
viviparous. Now, the seal has the passages visible whereby it hears;
but the dolphin can hear, but has no ears, nor yet any passages
visible. But man alone is unable to move his ears, and all other
animals can move them. And the ears lie, with man, in the same
horizontal plane with the eyes, and not in a plane above them as is
the case with some quadrupeds. Of ears, some are fine, some are
coarse, and some are of medium texture; the last kind are best for
hearing, but they serve in no way to indicate character. Some ears are
large, some small, some medium-sized; again, some stand out far,
some lie in close and tight, and some take up a medium position; of
these such as are of medium size and of medium position are
indications of the best disposition, while the large and outstanding
ones indicate a tendency to irrelevant talk or chattering. The part
intercepted between the eye, the ear, and the crown is termed the
'temple'. Again, there is a part of the countenance that serves as a
passage for the breath, the 'nose'. For a man inhales and exhales by
this organ, and sneezing is effected by its means: which last is an
outward rush of collected breath, and is the only mode of breath
used as an omen and regarded as supernatural. Both inhalation and

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