History of Animals
resemble those of the lion; that it resembles man in its face and
ears; that its eyes are blue, and its colour vermilion; that its
tail is like that of the land-scorpion; that it has a sting in the
tail, and has the faculty of shooting off arrow-wise the spines that
are attached to the tail; that the sound of its voice is a something
between the sound of a pan-pipe and that of a trumpet; that it can run
as swiftly as deer, and that it is savage and a man-eater.
Man sheds his teeth, and so do other animals, as the horse, the
mule, and the ass. And man sheds his front teeth; but there is no
instance of an animal that sheds its molars. The pig sheds none of its
teeth at all.
With regard to dogs some doubts are entertained, as some contend
that they shed no teeth whatever, and others that they shed the
canines, but those alone; the fact being, that they do shed their
teeth like man, but that the circumstance escapes observation, owing
to the fact that they never shed them until equivalent teeth have
grown within the gums to take the place of the shed ones. We shall
be justified in supposing that the case is similar with wild beasts in
general; for they are said to shed their canines only. Dogs can be
distinguished from one another, the young from the old, by their
teeth; for the teeth in young dogs are white and sharp-pointed; in old
dogs, black and blunt.
In this particular, the horse differs entirely from animals in
general: for, generally speaking, as animals grow older their teeth
get blacker, but the horse's teeth grow whiter with age.
The so-called 'canines' come in between the sharp teeth and the
broad or blunt ones, partaking of the form of both kinds; for they are
broad at the base and sharp at the tip.
Males have more teeth than females in the case of men, sheep,
goats, and swine; in the case of other animals observations have not
yet been made: but the more teeth they have the more long-lived are
they, as a rule, while those are short-lived in proportion that have
teeth fewer in number and thinly set.
The last teeth to come in man are molars called 'wisdom-teeth',
which come at the age of twenty years, in the case of both sexes.
Cases have been known in women upwards. of eighty years old where at
the very close of life the wisdom-teeth have come up, causing great
pain in their coming; and cases have been known of the like phenomenon
in men too. This happens, when it does happen, in the case of people
where the wisdom-teeth have not come up in early years.
The elephant has four teeth on either side, by which it munches
its food, grinding it like so much barley-meal, and, quite apart
from these, it has its great teeth, or tusks, two in number. In the
male these tusks are comparatively large and curved upwards; in the
female, they are comparatively small and point in the opposite
direction; that is, they look downwards towards the ground. The
elephant is furnished with teeth at birth, but the tusks are not
The tongue of the elephant is exceedingly small, and situated
far back in the mouth, so that it is difficult to get a sight of it.
Furthermore, animals differ from one another in the relative size
of their mouths. In some animals the mouth opens wide, as is the