Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of History of Animals

Previous | Next

History of Animals   

colour changes from white to red in their alarm.
Crustaceans, then, hatch their eggs by brooding over them as
they carry them about beneath their bodies; but the octopus, the
sepia, and the like hatch their eggs without stirring from the spot
where they may have laid them, and this statement is particularly
applicable to the sepia; in fact, the nest of the female sepia is
often seen exposed to view close in to shore. The female octopus at
times sits brooding over her eggs, and at other times squats in
front of her hole, stretching out her tentacles on guard.
The sepia lays her spawn near to land in the neighbourhood of
sea-weed or reeds or any off-sweepings such as brushwood, twigs, or
stones; and fishermen place heaps of faggots here and there on
purpose, and on to such heaps the female deposits a long continuous
roe in shape like a vine tendril. It lays or spirts out the spawn with
an effort, as though there were difficulty in the process. The
female calamary spawns at sea; and it emits the spawn, as does the
sepia, in the mass.
The calamary and the cuttle-fish are short-lived, as, with few
exceptions, they never see the year out; and the same statement is
applicable to the octopus.
From one single egg comes one single sepia; and this is likewise
true of the young calamary.
The male calamary differs from the female; for if its
gill-region be dilated and examined there are found two red formations
resembling breasts, with which the male is unprovided. In the sepia,
apart from this distinction in the sexes, the male, as has been
stated, is more mottled than the female.

With regard to insects, that the male is less than the female
and that he mounts upon her back, and how he performs the act of
copulation and the circumstance that he gives over reluctantly, all
this has already been set forth, most cases of insect copulation
this process is speedily followed up by parturition.
All insects engender grubs, with the exception of a species of
butterfly; and the female of this species lays a hard egg,
resembling the seed of the cnecus, with a juice inside it. But from
the grub, the young animal does not grow out of a mere portion of
it, as a young animal grows from a portion only of an egg, but the
grub entire grows and the animal becomes differentiated out of it.
And of insects some are derived from insect congeners, as the
venom-spider and the common-spider from the venom-spider and the
common-spider, and so with the attelabus or locust, the acris or
grasshopper, and the tettix or cicada. Other insects are not derived
from living parentage, but are generated spontaneously: some out of
dew falling on leaves, ordinarily in spring-time, but not seldom in
winter when there has been a stretch of fair weather and southerly
winds; others grow in decaying mud or dung; others in timber, green or
dry; some in the hair of animals; some in the flesh of animals; some
in excrements: and some from excrement after it has been voided, and
some from excrement yet within the living animal, like the
helminthes or intestinal worms. And of these intestinal worms there
are three species: one named the flat-worm, another the round worm,
and the third the ascarid. These intestinal worms do not in any case
propagate their kind. The flat-worm, however, in an exceptional way,
clings fast to the gut, and lays a thing like a melon-seed, by
observing which indication the physician concludes that his patient is
troubled with the worm.
The so-called psyche or butterfly is generated from caterpillars
which grow on green leaves, chiefly leaves of the raphanus, which some
call crambe or cabbage. At first it is less than a grain of millet; it
then grows into a small grub; and in three days it is a tiny
caterpillar. After this it grows on and on, and becomes quiescent
and changes its shape, and is now called a chrysalis. The outer

Previous | Next
Site Search