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History of Animals   


and the other frontwards during the operation. And the female lays its
spawn by the so-called 'blow-hole'; and, by the way, some declare that
it is at this organ that the coition really takes place.
7

Crustaceans copulate, as the crawfish, the lobster, the carid
and the like, just like the opisthuretic quadrupeds, when the one
animal turns up its tail and the other puts his tail on the other's
tail. Copulation takes place in the early spring, near to the shore;
and, in fact, the process has often been observed in the case of all
these animals. Sometimes it takes place about the time when the figs
begin to ripen. Lobsters and carids copulate in like manner.
Crabs copulate at the front parts of one another, belly to
belly, throwing their overlapping opercula to meet one another:
first the smaller crab mounts the larger at the rear; after he has
mounted, the larger one turns on one side. Now, the female differs
in no respect from the male except in the circumstance that its
operculum is larger, more elevated, and more hairy, and into this
operculum it spawns its eggs and in the same neighbourhood is the
outlet of the residuum. In the copulative process of these animals
there is no protrusion of a member from one animal into the other.
8

Insects copulate at the hinder end, and the smaller individuals
mount the larger; and the smaller individual is I I is the male. The
female pushes from underneath her sexual organ into the body of the
male above, this being the reverse of the operation observed in
other creatures; and this organ in the case of some insects appears to
be disproportionately large when compared to the size of the body, and
that too in very minute creatures; in some insects the disproportion
is not so striking. This phenomenon may be witnessed if any one will
pull asunder flies that are copulating; and, by the way, these
creatures are, under the circumstances, averse to separation; for
the intercourse of the sexes in their case is of long duration, as may
be observed with common everyday insects, such as the fly and the
cantharis. They all copulate in the manner above described, the fly,
the cantharis, the sphondyle, (the phalangium spider) any others of
the kind that copulate at all. The phalangia-that is to say, such of
the species as spin webs-perform the operation in the following way:
the female takes hold of the suspended web at the middle and gives a
pull, and the male gives a counter pull; this operation they repeat
until they are drawn in together and interlaced at the hinder ends;
for, by the way, this mode of copulation suits them in consequence
of the rotundity of their stomachs.
So much for the modes of sexual intercourse in all animals; but,
with regard to the same phenomenon, there are definite laws followed
as regards the season of the year and the age of the animal.
Animals in general seem naturally disposed to this intercourse
at about the same period of the year, and that is when winter is
changing into summer. And this is the season of spring, in which
almost all things that fly or walk or swim take to pairing. Some
animals pair and breed in autumn also and in winter, as is the case
with certain aquatic animals and certain birds. Man pairs and breeds
at all seasons, as is the case also with domesticated animals, owing
to the shelter and good feeding they enjoy: that is to say, with those
whose period of gestation is also comparatively brief, as the sow
and the bitch, and with those birds that breed frequently. Many
animals time the season of intercourse with a view to the right
nurture subsequently of their young. In the human species, the male is
more under sexual excitement in winter, and the female in summer.
With birds the far greater part, as has been said, pair and
breed during the spring and early summer, with the exception of the
halcyon.
The halcyon breeds at the season of the winter solstice.

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