History of Animals
of the purple-fish; for this creature is enticed by baits of rancid
meat, which it perceives and is attracted to from a great distance.
The proof that it possesses a sense of taste hangs by the proof of its
sense of smell; for whenever an animal is attracted to a thing by
perceiving its smell, it is sure to like the taste of it. Further, all
animals furnished with a mouth derive pleasure or pain from the
touch of sapid juices.
With regard to sight and hearing, we cannot make statements with
thorough confidence or on irrefutable evidence. However, the solen
or razor-fish, if you make a noise, appears to burrow in the sand, and
to hide himself deeper when he hears the approach of the iron rod (for
the animal, be it observed, juts a little out of its hole, while the
greater part of the body remains within),-and scallops, if you present
your finger near their open valves, close them tight again as though
they could see what you were doing. Furthermore, when fishermen are
laying bait for neritae, they always get to leeward of them, and never
speak a word while so engaged, under the firm impression that the
animal can smell and hear; and they assure us that, if any one
speaks aloud, the creature makes efforts to escape. With regard to
testaceans, of the walking or creeping species the urchin appears to
have the least developed sense of smell; and, of the stationary
species, the ascidian and the barnacle.
So much for the organs of sense in the general run of animals.
We now proceed to treat of voice.
Voice and sound are different from one another; and language
differs from voice and sound. The fact is that no animal can give
utterance to voice except by the action of the pharynx, and
consequently such animals as are devoid of lung have no voice; and
language is the articulation of vocal sounds by the instrumentality of
the tongue. Thus, the voice and larynx can emit vocal or vowel sounds;
non-vocal or consonantal sounds are made by the tongue and the lips;
and out of these vocal and non-vocal sounds language is composed.
Consequently, animals that have no tongue at all or that have a tongue
not freely detached, have neither voice nor language; although, by the
way, they may be enabled to make noises or sounds by other organs than
Insects, for instance, have no voice and no language, but they can
emit sound by internal air or wind, though not by the emission of
air or wind; for no insects are capable of respiration. But some of
them make a humming noise, like the bee and the other winged
insects; and others are said to sing, as the cicada. And all these
latter insects make their special noises by means of the membrane that
is underneath the 'hypozoma'-those insects, that is to say, whose body
is thus divided; as for instance, one species of cicada, which makes
the sound by means of the friction of the air. Flies and bees, and the
like, produce their special noise by opening and shutting their
wings in the act of flying; for the noise made is by the friction of
air between the wings when in motion. The noise made by grasshoppers
is produced by rubbing or reverberating with their long hind-legs.
No mollusc or crustacean can produce any natural voice or sound.
Fishes can produce no voice, for they have no lungs, nor windpipe
and pharynx; but they emit certain inarticulate sounds and squeaks,
which is what is called their 'voice', as the lyra or gurnard, and the
sciaena (for these fishes make a grunting kind of noise) and the
caprus or boar-fish in the river Achelous, and the chalcis and the
cuckoo-fish; for the chalcis makes a sort piping sound, and the
cuckoo-fish makes a sound greatly like the cry of the cuckoo, and is
nicknamed from the circumstance. The apparent voice in all these
fishes is a sound caused in some cases by a rubbing motion of their
gills, which by the way are prickly, or in other cases by internal
parts about their bellies; for they all have air or wind inside
them, by rubbing and moving which they produce the sounds. Some