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History of Animals   


but though in the case of the detached species the phenomenon is
obvious-for they hide themselves, as is seen in the scallop, or they
are provided with an operculum on the free surface, as in the case
of land snails-in the case of the non-detached the concealment is
not so clearly observed. They do not go into hiding at one and the
same season; but the snails go in winter, the purple murex and the
ceryx for about thirty days at the rising of the Dog-star, and the
scallop at about the same period. But for the most part they go into
concealment when the weather is either extremely cold or extremely
hot.
14

Insects almost all go into hiding, with the exception of such of
them as live in human habitations or perish before the completion of
the year. They hide in the winter; some of them for several days,
others for only the coldest days, as the bee. For the bee also goes
into hiding: and the proof that it does so is that during a certain
period bees never touch the food set before them, and if a bee
creeps out of the hive, it is quite transparent, with nothing
whatsoever in its stomach; and the period of its rest and hiding lasts
from the setting of the Pleiads until springtime.
Animals take their winter-sleep or summer-sleep by concealing
themselves in warm places, or in places where they have been used to
lie concealed.
15

Several blooded animals take this sleep, such as the pholidotes or
tessellates, namely, the serpent, the lizard, the gecko, and the
river. crocodile, all of which go into hiding for four months in the
depth of winter, and during that time eat nothing. Serpents in general
burrow under ground for this purpose; the viper conceals itself
under a stone.
A great number of fishes also take this sleep, and notably,
the hippurus and coracinus in winter time; for, whereas fish in
general may be caught at all periods of the year more or less, there
is this singularity observed in these fishes, that they are caught
within a certain fixed period of the year, and never by any chance out
of it. The muraena also hides, and the orphus or sea-perch, and the
conger. Rock-fish pair off, male and female, for hiding (just as for
breeding); as is observed in the case of the species of wrasse
called the thrush and the owzel, and in the perch.
The tunny also takes a sleep in winter in deep waters, and
gets exceedingly fat after the sleep. The fishing season for the tunny
begins at the rising of the Pleiads and lasts, at the longest, down to
the setting of Arcturus; during the rest of the year they are hid
and enjoying immunity. About the time of hibernation a few tunnies
or other hibernating fishes are caught while swimming about, in
particularly warm localities and in exceptionally fine weather, or
on nights of full moon; for the fishes are induced (by the warmth or
the light) to emerge for a while from their lair in quest of food.
Most fishes are at their best for the table during the summer or
winter sleep.
The primas-tunny conceals itself in the mud; this may be
inferred from the fact that during a particular period the fish is
never caught, and that, when it is caught after that period, it is
covered with mud and has its fins damaged. In the spring these tunnies
get in motion and proceed towards the coast, coupling and breeding,
and the females are now caught full of spawn. At this time they are
considered as in season, but in autumn and in winter as of inferior
quality; at this time also the males are full of milt. When the
spawn is small, the fish is hard to catch, but it is easily caught
when the spawn gets large, as the fish is then infested by its
parasite. Some fish burrow for sleep in the sand and some in mud, just
keeping their mouths outside.

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