History of Animals
animals as with all others.
The female of the camel is opisthuretic, and submits to the male
in the way above described; and the season for copulation in Arabia is
about the month of October. Its period of gestation is twelve
months; and it is never delivered of more than one foal at a time. The
female becomes sexually receptive and the male sexually capable at the
age of three years. After parturition, an interval of a year elapses
before the female is again receptive to the male.
The female elephant becomes sexually receptive when ten years
old at the youngest, and when fifteen at the oldest; and the male is
sexually capable when five years old, or six. The season for
intercourse is spring. The male allows an interval of three years to
elapse after commerce with a female: and, after it has once
impregnated a female, it has no intercourse with her again. The period
of gestation with the female is two years; and only one young animal
is produced at a time, in other words it is uniparous. And the
embryo is the size of a calf two or three months old.
So much for the copulations of such animals as copulate.
We now proceed to treat of generation both with respect to
copulating and non-copulating animals, and we shall commence with
discussing the subject of generation in the case of the testaceans.
The testacean is almost the only genus that throughout all its
species is non-copulative.
The porphyrae, or purple murices, gather together to some one
place in the spring-time, and deposit the so-called 'honeycomb'.
This substance resembles the comb, only that it is not so neat and
delicate; and looks as though a number of husks of white chick-peas
were all stuck together. But none of these structures has any open
passage, and the porphyra does not grow out of them, but these and all
other testaceans grow out of mud and decaying matter. The substance,
is, in fact, an excretion of the porphyra and the ceryx; for it is
deposited by the ceryx as well. Such, then, of the testaceans as
deposit the honeycomb are generated spontaneously like all other
testaceans, but they certainly come in greater abundance in places
where their congeners have been living previously. At the commencement
of the process of depositing the honeycomb, they throw off a
slippery mucus, and of this the husklike formations are composed.
These formations, then, all melt and deposit their contents on the
ground, and at this spot there are found on the ground a number of
minute porphyrae, and porphyrae are caught at times with these
animalculae upon them, some of which are too small to be
differentiated in form. If the porphyrae are caught before producing
this honey-comb, they sometimes go through the process in
fishing-creels, not here and there in the baskets, but gathering to
some one spot all together, just as they do in the sea; and owing to
the narrowness of their new quarters they cluster together like a
bunch of grapes.
There are many species of the purple murex; and some are
large, as those found off Sigeum and Lectum; others are small, as
those found in the Euripus, and on the coast of Caria. And those
that are found in bays are large and rough; in most of them the
peculiar bloom from which their name is derived is dark to
blackness, in others it is reddish and small in size; some of the
large ones weigh upwards of a mina apiece. But the specimens that
are found along the coast and on the rocks are small-sized, and the
bloom in their case is of a reddish hue. Further, as a general rule,
in northern waters the bloom is blackish, and in southern waters of
a reddish hue. The murex is caught in the spring-time when engaged
in the construction of the honeycomb; but it is not caught at any time
about the rising of the dog-star, for at that period it does not feed,
but conceals itself and burrows. The bloom of the animal is situated
between the mecon (or quasi-liver) and the neck, and the co-attachment