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

Previous | Next

History of Animals   

The males of all these animals differ from the females, and the
difference between the sexes is most marked in the sepia; for the back
of the trunk, which is blacker than the belly, is rougher in the
male than in the female, and in the male the back is striped, and
the rump is more sharply pointed.
There are several species of the octopus. One keeps close to the
surface, and is the largest of them all, and near the shore the size
is larger than in deep water; and there are others, small,
variegated in colour, which are not articles of food. There are two
others, one called the heledone, which differs from its congeners in
the length of its legs and in having one row of suckers-all the rest
of the molluscs having two,-the other nicknamed variously the
bolitaina or the 'onion,' and the ozolis or the 'stinkard'.
There are two others found in shells resembling those of the
testaceans. One of them is nicknamed by some persons the nautilus or
the pontilus, or by others the 'polypus' egg'; and the shell of this
creature is something like a separate valve of a deep scallop-shell.
This polypus lives very often near to the shore, and is apt to be
thrown up high and dry on the beach; under these circumstances it is
found with its shell detached, and dies by and by on dry land. These
polypods are small, and are shaped, as regards the form of their
bodies, like the bolbidia. There is another polypus that is placed
within a shell like a snail; it never comes out of the shell, but
lives inside the shell like the snail, and from time to time protrudes
its feelers.
So much for molluscs.

With regard to the Malacostraca or crustaceans, one species is
that of the crawfish, and a second, resembling the first, is that of
the lobster; the lobster differing from the crawfish in having
claws, and in a few other respects as well. Another species is that of
the carid, and another is that of the crab, and there are many kinds
both of carid and of crab.
Of carids there are the so-called cyphae, or 'hunch-backs', the
crangons, or squillae, and the little kind, or shrimps, and the little
kind do not develop into a larger kind.
Of the crab, the varieties are indefinite and incalculable. The
largest of all crabs is one nicknamed Maia, a second variety is the
pagarus and the crab of Heracleotis, and a third variety is the
fresh-water crab; the other varieties are smaller in size and
destitute of special designations. In the neighbourhood of Phoenice
there are found on the beach certain crabs that are nicknamed the
'horsemen', from their running with such speed that it is difficult to
overtake them; these crabs, when opened, are usually found empty,
and this emptiness may be put down to insufficiency of nutriment.
(There is another variety, small like the crab, but resembling in
shape the lobster.) All these animals, as has been stated, have
their hard and shelly part outside, where the skin is in other
animals, and the fleshy part inside; and the belly is more or less
provided with lamellae, or little flaps, and the female here
deposits her spawn.
The crawfishes have five feet on either side, including the
claws at the end; and in like manner the crabs have ten feet in all,
including the claws. Of the carids, the hunch-backed, or prawns,
have five feet on either side, which are sharp-pointed-those towards
the head; and five others on either side in the region of the belly,
with their extremities flat; they are devoid of flaps on the under
side such as the crawfish has, but on the back they resemble the
crawfish. (See diagram.)It is very different with the crangon, or
squilla; it has four front legs on either side, then three thin ones
close behind on either side, and the rest of the body is for the most
part devoid of feet. (See diagram.) Of all these animals the feet

Previous | Next
Site Search