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

Previous | Next

History of Animals   

The bladder also is of the nature of membrane, but of membrane
peculiar in kind, for it is extensile. The organ is not common to
all animals, but, while it is found in all the vivipara, the
tortoise is the only oviparous animal that is furnished therewithal.
The bladder, like ordinary membrane, if cut asunder will not grow
together again, unless the section be just at the commencement of
the urethra: except indeed in very rare cases, for instances of
healing have been known to occur. After death, the organ passes no
liquid excretion; but in life, in addition to the normal liquid
excretion, it passes at times dry excretion also, which turns into
stones in the case of sufferers from that malady. Indeed, instances
have been known of concretions in the bladder so shaped as closely
to resemble cockleshells.
Such are the properties, then, of vein, sinew and skin, of fibre
and membrane, of hair, nail, claw and hoof, of horns, of teeth, of
beak, of gristle, of bones, and of parts that are analogous to any
of the parts here enumerated.

Flesh, and that which is by nature akin to it in sanguineous
animals, is in all cases situated in between the skin and the bone, or
the substance analogous to bone; for just as spine is a counterpart of
bone, so is the flesh-like substance of animals that are constructed a
spinous system the counterpart of the flesh of animals constructed
on an osseous one.
Flesh can be divided asunder in any direction, not lengthwise only
as is the case with sinew and vein. When animals are subjected to
emaciation the flesh disappears, and the creatures become a mass of
veins and fibres; when they are over fed, fat takes the place of
flesh. Where the flesh is abundant in an animal, its veins are
somewhat small and the blood abnormally red; the viscera also and
the stomach are diminutive; whereas with animals whose veins are large
the blood is somewhat black, the viscera and the stomach are large,
and the flesh is somewhat scanty. And animals with small stomachs
are disposed to take on flesh.

Again, fat and suet differ from one another. Suet is frangible
in all directions and congeals if subjected to extreme cold, whereas
fat can melt but cannot freeze or congeal; and soups made of the flesh
of animals supplied with fat do not congeal or coagulate, as is
found with horse-flesh and pork; but soups made from the flesh of
animals supplied with suet do coagulate, as is seen with mutton and
goat's flesh. Further, fat and suet differ as to their localities: for
fat is found between the skin and flesh, but suet is found only at the
limit of the fleshy parts. Also, in animals supplied with fat the
omentum or caul is supplied with fat, and it is supplied with suet
in animals supplied with suet. Moreover, ambidental animals are
supplied with fat, and non-ambidentals with suet.
Of the viscera the liver in some animals becomes fatty, as,
among fishes, is the case with the selachia, by the melting of whose
livers an oil is manufactured. These cartilaginous fish themselves
have no free fat at all in connexion with the flesh or with the
stomach. The suet in fish is fatty, and does not solidify or
congeal. All animals are furnished with fat, either intermingled
with their flesh, or apart. Such as have no free or separate fat are
less fat than others in stomach and omentum, as the eel; for it has
only a scanty supply of suet about the omentum. Most animals take on
fat in the belly, especially such animals as are little in motion.
The brains of animals supplied with fat are oily, as in the pig;
of animals supplied with suet, parched and dry. But it is about the
kidneys more than any other viscera that animals are inclined to
take on fat; and the right kidney is always less supplied with fat

Previous | Next
Site Search