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History of Animals   


fishes; for viviparous fishes, such as the cartilaginous species,
are gristle-spined, while the ovipara have a spine which corresponds
to the backbone in quadrupeds. This exceptional property has been
observed in fishes, that in some of them there are found delicate
spines scattered here and there throughout the fleshy parts. The
serpent is similarly constructed to the fish; in other words, his
backbone is spinous. With oviparous quadrupeds, the skeleton of the
larger ones is more or less osseous; of the smaller ones, more or less
spinous. But all sanguineous animals have a backbone of either one
kind or other: that is, composed either of bone or of spine.
The other portions of the skeleton are found in some animals and
not found in others, but the presence or the absence of this and
that part carries with it, as a matter of course, the presence or
the absence of the bones or the spines corresponding to this or that
part. For animals that are destitute of arms and legs cannot be
furnished with limb-bones: and in like manner with animals that have
the same parts, but yet have them unlike in form; for in these animals
the corresponding bones differ from one another in the way of relative
excess or relative defect, or in the way of analogy taking the place
of identity. So much for the osseous or spinous systems in animals.
8

Gristle is of the same nature as bone, but differs from it in
the way of relative excess or relative defect. And just like bone,
cartilage also, if cut, does not grow again. In terrestrial viviparous
sanguinea the gristle formations are unperforated, and there is no
marrow in them as there is in bones; in the selachia, however--for, be
it observed, they are gristle-spined--there is found in the case of
the flat space in the region of the backbone, a gristle-like substance
analogous to bone, and in this gristle-like substance there is a
liquid resembling marrow. In viviparous animals furnished with feet,
gristle formations are found in the region of the ears, in the
nostrils, and around certain extremities of the bones.
9

Furthermore, there are parts of other kinds, neither identical
with, nor altogether diverse from, the parts above enumerated: such as
nails, hooves, claws, and horns; and also, by the way, beaks, such
as birds are furnished with-all in the several animals that are
furnished therewithal. All these parts are flexible and fissile; but
bone is neither flexible nor fissile, but frangible.
And the colours of horns and nails and claw and hoof follow the
colour of the skin and the hair. For according as the skin of an
animal is black, or white, or of medium hue, so are the horns, the
claws, or the hooves, as the case may be, of hue to match. And it is
the same with nails. The teeth, however, follow after the bones.
Thus in black men, such as the Aethiopians and the like, the teeth and
bones are white, but the nails are black, like the whole of the skin.
Horns in general are hollow at their point of attachment to the
bone which juts out from the head inside the horn, but they have a
solid portion at the tip, and they are simple and undivided in
structure. In the case of the stag alone of all animals the horns
are solid throughout, and ramify into branches (or antlers). And,
whereas no other animal is known to shed its horns, the deer sheds its
horns annually, unless it has been castrated; and with regard to the
effects of castration in animals we shall have much to say
hereafter. Horns attach rather to the skin than to the bone; which
will account for the fact that there are found in Phrygia and
elsewhere cattle that can move their horns as freely as their ears.
Of animals furnished with nails-and, by the way, all animals
have nails that have toes, and toes that have feet, except the
elephant; and the elephant has toes undivided and slightly
articulated, but has no nails whatsoever--of animals furnished with
nails, some are straight-nailed, like man; others are crooked

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