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History of Animals   


after the middle of that month throws off its eggs in a lump. With the
humped carids or prawns the time for gestation is four months or
thereabouts.
Crawfish are found in rough and rocky places, lobsters in smooth
places, and neither crawfish nor lobsters are found in muddy ones; and
this accounts for the fact that lobsters are found in the Hellespont
and on the coast of Thasos, and crawfish in the neighbourhood of
Sigeum and Mount Athos. Fishermen, accordingly, when they want to
catch these various creatures out at sea, take bearings on the beach
and elsewhere that tell them where the ground at the bottom is stony
and where soft with slime. In winter and spring these animals keep
in near to land, in summer they keep in deep water; thus at various
times seeking respectively for warmth or coolness.
The so-called arctus or bear-crab lays its eggs at about the
same time as the crawfish; and consequently in winter and in the
spring-time, before laying their eggs, they are at their best, and
after laying at their worst.
They cast their shell in the spring-time (just as serpents
shed their so-called 'old-age' or slough), both directly after birth
and in later life; this is true both of crabs and crawfish. And, by
the way, all crawfish are long lived.
18

Molluscs, after pairing and copulation, lay a white spawn; and
this spawn, as in the case of the testacean, gets granular in time.
The octopus discharges into its hole, or into a potsherd or into any
similar cavity, a structure resembling the tendrils of a young vine or
the fruit of the white poplar, as has been previously observed. The
eggs, when the female has laid them, are clustered round the sides
of the hole. They are so numerous that, if they be removed they
suffice to fill a vessel much larger than the animal's body in which
they were contained. Some fifty days later, the eggs burst and the
little polypuses creep out, like little spiders, in great numbers; the
characteristic form of their limbs is not yet to be discerned in
detail, but their general outline is clear enough. And, by the way,
they are so small and helpless that the greater number perish; it is a
fact that they have been seen so extremely minute as to be
absolutely without organization, but nevertheless when touched they
moved. The eggs of the sepia look like big black myrtle-berries, and
they are linked all together like a bunch of grapes, clustered round a
centre, and are not easily sundered from one another: for the male
exudes over them some moist glairy stuff, which constitutes the sticky
gum. These eggs increase in size; and they are white at the outset,
but black and larger after the sprinkling of the male seminal fluid.
When it has come into being the young sepia is first
distinctly formed inside out of the white substance, and when the
egg bursts it comes out. The inner part is formed as soon as the
female lays the egg, something like a hail-stone; and out of this
substance the young sepia grows by a head-attachment, just as young
birds grow by a belly-attachment. What is the exact nature of the
navel-attachment has not yet been observed, except that as the young
sepia grows the white substance grows less and less in size, and at
length, as happens with the yolk in the case of birds, the white
substance in the case of the young sepia disappears. In the case of
the young sepia, as in the case of the young of most animals, the eyes
at first seem very large. To illustrate this by way of a figure, let A
represent the ovum, B and C the eyes, and D the sepidium, or body of
the little sepia. (See diagram.)
The female sepia goes pregnant in the spring-time, and lays
its eggs after fifteen days of gestation; after the eggs are laid
there comes in another fifteen days something like a bunch of
grapes, and at the bursting of these the young sepiae issue forth. But
if, when the young ones are fully formed, you sever the outer covering
a moment too soon, the young creatures eject excrement, and their

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