Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of History of Animals

Previous | Next

History of Animals   

these localities, or has an under eyelash; though in the case of
some animals a few straggling hairs grow under the eyelid.
Of hair-coated quadrupeds some are hairy all over the body, as
the pig, the bear, and the dog; others are especially hairy on the
neck and all round about it, as is the case with animals that have a
shaggy mane, such as the lion; others again are especially hairy on
the upper surface of the neck from the head as far as the withers,
namely, such as have a crested mane, as in the case with the horse,
the mule, and, among the undomesticated horned animals, the bison.
The so-called hippelaphus also has a mane on its withers, and the
animal called pardion, in either case a thin mane extending from the
head to the withers; the hippelaphus has, exceptionally, a beard by
the larynx. Both these animals have horns and are cloven-footed; the
female, however, of the hippelaphus has no horns. This latter animal
resembles the stag in size; it is found in the territory of the
Arachotae, where the wild cattle also are found. Wild cattle differ
from their domesticated congeners just as the wild boar differs from
the domesticated one. That is to say they are black, strong looking,
with a hook-nosed muzzle, and with horns lying more over the back. The
horns of the hippelaphus resemble those of the gazelle.
The elephant, by the way, is the least hairy of all quadrupeds.
With animals, as a general rule, the tail corresponds with the body as
regards thickness or thinness of hair-coating; that is, with animals
that have long tails, for some creatures have tails of altogether
insignificant size.
Camels have an exceptional organ wherein they differ from all
other animals, and that is the so-called 'hump' on their back. The
Bactrian camel differs from the Arabian; for the former has two
humps and the latter only one, though it has, by the way, a kind of
a hump below like the one above, on which, when it kneels, the
weight of the whole body rests. The camel has four teats like the cow,
a tail like that of an ass, and the privy parts of the male are
directed backwards. It has one knee in each leg, and the flexures of
the limb are not manifold, as some say, although they appear to be
so from the constricted shape of the region of the belly. It has a
huckle-bone like that of kine, but meagre and small in proportion to
its bulk. It is cloven-footed, and has not got teeth in both jaws; and
it is cloven footed in the following way: at the back there is a
slight cleft extending as far up as the second joint of the toes;
and in front there are small hooves on the tip of the first joint of
the toes; and a sort of web passes across the cleft, as in geese.
The foot is fleshy underneath, like that of the bear; so that, when
the animal goes to war, they protect its feet, when they get sore,
with sandals.
The legs of all quadrupeds are bony, sinewy, and fleshless; and
in point of fact such is the case with all animals that are
furnished with feet, with the exception of man. They are also
unfurnished with buttocks; and this last point is plain in an especial
degree in birds. It is the reverse with man; for there is scarcely any
part of the body in which man is so fleshy as in the buttock, the
thigh, and the calf; for the part of the leg called gastroenemia or is
Of blooded and viviparous quadrupeds some have the foot cloven
into many parts, as is the case with the hands and feet of man (for
some animals, by the way, are many-toed, as the lion, the dog, and the
pard); others have feet cloven in twain, and instead of nails have
hooves, as the sheep, the goat, the deer, and the hippopotamus; others
are uncloven of foot, such for instance as the solid-hooved animals,
the horse and the mule. Swine are either cloven-footed or
uncloven-footed; for there are in Illyria and in Paeonia and elsewhere
solid-hooved swine. The cloven-footed animals have two clefts
behind; in the solid-hooved this part is continuous and undivided.
Furthermore, of animals some are horned, and some are not so.
The great majority of the horned animals are cloven-footed, as the ox,

Previous | Next
Site Search