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History of Animals   


Green corn, while ripening, will give a smooth coat; but such corn
is injurious if the spikes are too stiff and sharp. The first crop
of clover is unwholesome, and so is clover over which ill-scented
water runs; for the clover is sure to get the taint of the water.
Cattle like clear water for drinking; but the horse in this respect
resembles the camel, for the camel likes turbid and thick water, and
will never drink from a stream until he has trampled it into a
turbid condition. And, by the way, the camel can go without water
for as much as four days, but after that when he drinks, he drinks
in immense quantities.
9

The elephant at the most can eat nine Macedonian medimni of fodder
at one meal; but so large an amount is unwholesome. As a general
rule it can take six or seven medimni of fodder, five medimni of
wheat, and five mareis of wine-six cotylae going to the maris. An
elephant has been known to drink right off fourteen Macedonian
metretae of water, and another metretae later in the day.
Camels live for about thirty years; in some exceptional cases
they live much longer, and instances have been known of their living
to the age of a hundred. The elephant is said by some to live for
about two hundred years; by others, for three hundred.
10

Sheep and goats are graminivorous, but sheep browse assiduously
and steadily, whereas goats shift their ground rapidly, and browse
only on the tips of the herbage. Sheep are much improved in
condition by drinking, and accordingly they give the flocks salt every
five days in summer, to the extent of one medimnus to the hundred
sheep, and this is found to render a flock healthier and fatter. In
fact they mix salt with the greater part of their food; a large amount
of salt is mixed into their bran (for the reason that they drink
more when thirsty), and in autumn they get cucumbers with a sprinkling
of salt on them; this admixture of salt in their food tends also to
increase the quantity of milk in the ewes. If sheep be kept on the
move at midday they will drink more copiously towards evening; and
if the ewes be fed with salted food as the lambing season draws near
they will get larger udders. Sheep are fattened by twigs of the
olive or of the oleaster, by vetch, and bran of every kind; and
these articles of food fatten all the more if they be first
sprinkled with brine. Sheep will take on flesh all the better if
they be first put for three days through a process of starving. In
autumn, water from the north is more wholesome for sheep than water
from the south. Pasture grounds are all the better if they have a
westerly aspect.
Sheep will lose flesh if they be kept overmuch on the move or be
subjected to any hardship. In winter time shepherds can easily
distinguish the vigorous sheep from the weakly, from the fact that the
vigorous sheep are covered with hoar-frost while the weakly ones are
quite free of it; the fact being that the weakly ones feeling
oppressed with the burden shake themselves and so get rid of it. The
flesh of all quadrupeds deteriorates in marshy pastures, and is the
better on high grounds. Sheep that have flat tails can stand the
winter better than long-tailed sheep, and short-fleeced sheep than the
shaggy-fleeced; and sheep with crisp wool stand the rigour of winter
very poorly. Sheep are healthier than goats, but goats are stronger
than sheep. (The fleeces and the wool of sheep that have been killed
by wolves, as also the clothes made from them, are exceptionally
infested with lice.)
11

Of insects, such as have teeth are omnivorous; such as have a
tongue feed on liquids only, extracting with that organ juices from
all quarters. And of these latter some may be called omnivorous,

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