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History of Animals   


that it would seem that the natural course of development were
congenitally arrested; (for extending from the brain at its junction
with the marrow are two strong sinewy ducts running past the sockets
of the eyes, and terminating at the upper eye-teeth). All the other
animals of the kinds above mentioned have a perception of colour and
of sound, and the senses of smell and taste; the fifth sense, that,
namely, of touch, is common to all animals whatsoever.
In some animals the organs of sense are plainly discernible; and
this is especially the case with the eyes. For animals have a
special locality for the eyes, and also a special locality for
hearing: that is to say, some animals have ears, while others have the
passage for sound discernible. It is the same with the sense of smell;
that is to say, some animals have nostrils, and others have only the
passages for smell, such as birds. It is the same also with the
organ of taste, the tongue. Of aquatic red-blooded animals, fishes
possess the organ of taste, namely the tongue, but it is in an
imperfect and amorphous form, in other words it is osseous and
undetached. In some fish the palate is fleshy, as in the fresh-water
carp, so that by an inattentive observer it might be mistaken for a
tongue.
There is no doubt but that fishes have the sense of taste, for a
great number of them delight in special flavours; and fishes freely
take the hook if it be baited with a piece of flesh from a tunny or
from any fat fish, obviously enjoying the taste and the eating of food
of this kind. Fishes have no visible organs for hearing or for
smell; for what might appear to indicate an organ for smell in the
region of the nostril has no communication with the brain. These
indications, in fact, in some cases lead nowhere, like blind alleys,
and in other cases lead only to the gills; but for all this fishes
undoubtedly hear and smell. For they are observed to run away from any
loud noise, such as would be made by the rowing of a galley, so as
to become easy of capture in their holes; for, by the way, though a
sound be very slight in the open air, it has a loud and alarming
resonance to creatures that hear under water. And this is shown in the
capture of the dolphin; for when the hunters have enclosed a shoal
of these fishes with a ring of their canoes, they set up from inside
the canoes a loud splashing in the water, and by so doing induce the
creatures to run in a shoal high and dry up on the beach, and so
capture them while stupefied with the noise. And yet, for all this,
the dolphin has no organ of hearing discernible. Furthermore, when
engaged in their craft, fishermen are particularly careful to make
no noise with oar or net; and after they have spied a shoal, they
let down their nets at a spot so far off that they count upon no noise
being likely to reach the shoal, occasioned either by oar or by the
surging of their boats through the water; and the crews are strictly
enjoined to preserve silence until the shoal has been surrounded. And,
at times, when they want the fish to crowd together, they adopt the
stratagem of the dolphin-hunter; in other words they clatter stones
together, that the fish may, in their fright, gather close into one
spot, and so they envelop them within their nets. (Before
surrounding them, then, they preserve silence, as was said; but, after
hemming the shoal in, they call on every man to shout out aloud and
make any kind of noise; for on hearing the noise and hubbub the fish
are sure to tumble into the nets from sheer fright.) Further, when
fishermen see a shoal of fish feeding at a distance, disporting
themselves in calm bright weather on the surface of the water, if they
are anxious to descry the size of the fish and to learn what kind of a
fish it is, they may succeed in coming upon the shoal whilst yet
basking at the surface if they sail up without the slightest noise,
but if any man make a noise previously, the shoal will be seen to
scurry away in alarm. Again, there is a small river-fish called the
cottus or bullhead; this creature burrows under a rock, and fishers
catch it by clattering stones against the rock, and the fish,
bewildered at the noise, darts out of its hiding-place. From these

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