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History of Animals   

nailed, as the lion among animals that walk, and the eagle among
animals that fly.

The following are the properties of hair and of parts analogous to
hair, and of skin or hide. All viviparous animals furnished with
feet have hair; all oviparous animals furnished with feet have
horn-like tessellates; fishes, and fishes only, have scales-that is,
such oviparous fishes as have the crumbling egg or roe. For of the
lanky fishes, the conger has no such egg, nor the muraena, and the eel
has no egg at all.
The hair differs in the way of thickness and fineness, and of
length, according to the locality of the part in which it is found,
and according to the quality of skin or hide on which it grows. For,
as a general rule, the thicker the hide, the harder and the thicker is
the hair; and the hair is inclined to grow in abundance and to a great
length in localities of the bodies hollow and moist, if the localities
be fitted for the growth of hair at all. The facts are similar in
the case of animals whether coated with scales or with tessellates.
With soft-haired animals the hair gets harder with good feeding, and
with hard-haired or bristly animals it gets softer and scantier from
the same cause. Hair differs in quality also according to the relative
heat or warmth of the locality: just as the hair in man is hard in
warm places and soft in cold ones. Again, straight hair is inclined to
be soft, and curly hair to be bristly.

Hair is naturally fissile, and in this respect it differs in
degree in diverse animals. In some animals the hair goes on
gradually hardening into bristle until it no longer resembles hair but
spine, as in the case of the hedgehog. And in like manner with the
nails; for in some animals the nail differs as regards solidity in
no way from bone.
Of all animals man has the most delicate skin: that is, if we take
into consideration his relative size. In the skin or hide of all
animals there is a mucous liquid, scanty in some animals and plentiful
in others, as, for instance, in the hide of the ox; for men
manufacture glue out of it. (And, by the way, in some cases glue is
manufactured from fishes also.) The skin, when cut, is in itself
devoid of sensation; and this is especially the case with the skin
on the head, owing to there being no flesh between it and the skull.
And wherever the skin is quite by itself, if it be cut asunder, it
does not grow together again, as is seen in the thin part of the
jaw, in the prepuce, and the eyelid. In all animals the skin is one of
the parts that extends continuous and unbroken, and it comes to a stop
only where the natural ducts pour out their contents, and at the mouth
and nails.
All sanguineous animals, then, have skin; but not all such animals
have hair, save only under the circumstances described above. The hair
changes its colour as animals grow old, and in man it turns white or
grey. With animals, in general, the change takes place, but not very
obviously, or not so obviously as in the case of the horse. Hair turns
grey from the point backwards to the roots. But, in the majority of
cases, grey hairs are white from the beginning; and this is a proof
that greyness of hair does not, as some believe to be the case,
imply withering or decrepitude, for no part is brought into
existence in a withered or decrepit condition.
In the eruptive malady called the white-sickness all the hairs get
grey; and instances have been known where the hair became grey while
the patients were ill of the malady, whereas the grey hairs shed off
and black ones replaced them on their recovery. (Hair is more apt to
turn grey when it is kept covered than when exposed to the action of
the outer air.) In men, the hair over the temples is the first to turn
grey, and the hair in the front grows grey sooner than the hair at the

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