History of Animals
having a common wall receive the breath and pass it on to the heart;
and one of the passages conveys it to the right cavity, and the
other to the left.
With regard to the great vein and the aorta we shall, by and
by, treat of them together in a discussion devoted to them and to them
alone. In all animals that are furnished with a lung, and that are
both internally and externally viviparous, the lung is of all organs
the most richly supplied with blood; for the lung is throughout spongy
in texture, and along by every single pore in it go branches from
the great vein. Those who imagine it to be empty are altogether
mistaken; and they are led into their error by their observation of
lungs removed from animals under dissection, out of which organs the
blood had all escaped immediately after death.
Of the other internal organs the heart alone contains blood.
And the lung has blood not in itself but in its veins, but the heart
has blood in itself; for in each of its three cavities it has blood,
but the thinnest blood is what it has in its central cavity.
Under the lung comes the thoracic diaphragm or midriff,
attached to the ribs, the hypochondria and the backbone, with a thin
membrane in the middle of it. It has veins running through it; and the
diaphragm in the case of man is thicker in proportion to the size of
his frame than in other animals.
Under the diaphragm on the right-hand side lies the 'liver',
and on the left-hand side the 'spleen', alike in all animals that
are provided with these organs in an ordinary and not preternatural
way; for, be it observed, in some quadrupeds these organs have been
found in a transposed position. These organs are connected with the
stomach by the caul.
To outward view the spleen of man is narrow and long,
resembling the self-same organ in the pig. The liver in the great
majority of animals is not provided with a 'gall-bladder'; but the
latter is present in some. The liver of a man is round-shaped, and
resembles the same organ in the ox. And, by the way, the absence above
referred to of a gall-bladder is at times met with in the practice
of augury. For instance, in a certain district of the Chalcidic
settlement in Euboea the sheep are devoid of gall-bladders; and in
Naxos nearly all the quadrupeds have one so large that foreigners when
they offer sacrifice with such victims are bewildered with fright,
under the impression that the phenomenon is not due to natural causes,
but bodes some mischief to the individual offerers of the sacrifice.
Again, the liver is attached to the great vein, but it has no
communication with the aorta; for the vein that goes off from the
great vein goes right through the liver, at a point where are the
so-called 'portals' of the liver. The spleen also is connected only
with the great vein, for a vein extends to the spleen off from it.
After these organs come the 'kidneys', and these are placed close
to the backbone, and resemble in character the same organ in kine.
In all animals that are provided with this organ, the right kidney
is situated higher up than the other. It has also less fatty substance
than the left-hand one and is less moist. And this phenomenon also
is observable in all the other animals alike.
Furthermore, passages or ducts lead into the kidneys both from
the great vein and from the aorta, only not into the cavity. For, by
the way, there is a cavity in the middle of the kidney, bigger in some
creatures and less in others; but there is none in the case of the
seal. This latter animal has kidneys resembling in shape the identical
organ in kine, but in its case the organs are more solid than in any
other known creature. The ducts that lead into the kidneys lose
themselves in the substance of the kidneys themselves; and the proof
that they extend no farther rests on the fact that they contain no
blood, nor is any clot found therein. The kidneys, however, have, as
has been said, a small cavity. From this cavity in the kidney there
lead two considerable ducts or ureters into the bladder; and others
spring from the aorta, strong and continuous. And to the middle of