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History of Animals   


cartilaginous fish seem to squeak.
But in these cases the term 'voice' is inappropriate; the more
correct expression would be 'sound'. For the scallop, when it goes
along supporting itself on the water, which is technically called
'flying', makes a whizzing sound; and so does the sea-swallow or
flying-fish: for this fish flies in the air, clean out of the water,
being furnished with fins broad and long. Just then as in the flight
of birds the sound made by their wings is obviously not voice, so is
it in the case of all these other creatures.
The dolphin, when taken out of the water, gives a squeak and moans
in the air, but these noises do not resemble those above mentioned.
For this creature has a voice (and can therefore utter vocal or
vowel sounds), for it is furnished with a lung and a windpipe; but its
tongue is not loose, nor has it lips, so as to give utterance to an
articulate sound (or a sound of vowel and consonant in combination.)
Of animals which are furnished with tongue and lung, the oviparous
quadrupeds produce a voice, but a feeble one; in some cases, a
shrill piping sound, like the serpent; in others, a thin faint cry; in
others, a low hiss, like the tortoise. The formation of the tongue
in the frog is exceptional. The front part of the tongue, which in
other animals is detached, is tightly fixed in the frog as it is in
all fishes; but the part towards the pharynx is freely detached, and
may, so to speak, be spat outwards, and it is with this that it
makes its peculiar croak. The croaking that goes on in the marsh is
the call of the males to the females at rutting time; and, by the way,
all animals have a special cry for the like end at the like season, as
is observed in the case of goats, swine, and sheep. (The bull-frog
makes its croaking noise by putting its under jaw on a level with
the surface of the water and extending its upper jaw to its utmost
capacity. The tension is so great that the upper jaw becomes
transparent, and the animal's eyes shine through the jaw like lamps;
for, by the way, the commerce of the sexes takes place usually in
the night time.) Birds can utter vocal sounds; and such of them can
articulate best as have the tongue moderately flat, and also such as
have thin delicate tongues. In some cases, the male and the female
utter the same note; in other cases, different notes. The smaller
birds are more vocal and given to chirping than the larger ones; but
in the pairing season every species of bird becomes particularly
vocal. Some of them call when fighting, as the quail, others cry or
crow when challenging to combat, as the partridge, or when victorious,
as the barn-door cock. In some cases cock-birds and hens sing alike,
as is observed in the nightingale, only that the hen stops singing
when brooding or rearing her young; in other birds, the cocks sing
more than the hens; in fact, with barn-door fowls and quails, the cock
sings and the hen does not.
Viviparous quadrupeds utter vocal sounds of different kinds, but
they have no power of converse. In fact, this power, or language, is
peculiar to man. For while the capability of talking implies the
capability of uttering vocal sounds, the converse does not hold
good. Men that are born deaf are in all cases also dumb; that is, they
can make vocal sounds, but they cannot speak. Children, just as they
have no control over other parts, so have no control, at first, over
the tongue; but it is so far imperfect, and only frees and detaches
itself by degrees, so that in the interval children for the most
part lisp and stutter.
Vocal sounds and modes of language differ according to locality.
Vocal sounds are characterized chiefly by their pitch, whether high or
low, and the kinds of sound capable of being produced are identical
within the limits of one and the same species; but articulate sound,
that one might reasonably designate 'language', differs both in
various animals, and also in the same species according to diversity
of locality; as for instance, some partridges cackle, and some make
a shrill twittering noise. Of little birds, some sing a different note
from the parent birds, if they have been removed from the nest and

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