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On The Generation Of Animals   


bend their hind-legs outwards, for all these are viviparous without
producing eggs)- all these have the catamenia, unless they are
defective in development as the mule, only the efflux is not
abundant as in women. Details of the facts in each animal have been
given in the Enquiries concerning animals.

The catamenia are more abundant in women than in the other
animals, and men emit the most semen in proportion to their size.
The reason is that the composition of their bodies is liquid and hot
compared to others, for more matter must be secreted in such a case.
Further, man has no such parts in his body as those to which the
superfluous matter is diverted in the other animals; for he has no
great quantity of hair in proportion to his body, nor outgrowths of
bones, horns, and teeth.

There is evidence that the semen is in the catamenia, for, as said
before, this secretion appears in the male at the same time of life as
the catamenia in the female; this indicates that the parts destined to
receive each of these secretions are differentiated at the same time
in both sexes; and as the neighboring parts in both become swollen the
hair of puberty springs forth in both alike. As the parts in
question are on the point of differentiating they are distended by the
spiritus; this is clearer in males in the testes, but appears also
about the breasts; in females it is more marked in the breasts, for it
is when they have risen two fingers' breadth that the catamenia
generally begin.

Now, in all living things in which the male and female are not
separated the semen (or seed) is a sort of embryo; by embryo I
mean the first mixture of male and female; hence, from one semen comes
one bodys- for example, one stalk of wheat from one grain, as one
animal from one egg (for twin eggs are really two eggs). But in
whatever kinds the sexes are distinguished, in these many animals
may come from one emission of semen, showing that the semen differs in
its nature in plants and animals. A proof of this is that animals
which can bear more than one young one at a time do so in
consequence of only one coition. Whereby, too, it is plain that the
semen does not come from the whole of the body; for neither would
the different parts of the semen already be separated as soon as
discharged from the same part, nor could they be separated in the
uterus if they had once entered it all together; but what does
happen is just what one would expect, since what the male
contributes to generation is the form and the efficient cause, while
the female contributes the material. In fact, as in the coagulation of
milk, the milk being the material, the fig-juice or rennet is that
which contains the curdling principle, so acts the secretion of the
male, being divided into parts in the female. Why it is sometimes
divided into more or fewer parts, and sometimes not divided at all,
will be the subject of another discussion. But because it does not
differ in kind at any rate this does not matter, but what does
matter is only that each part should correspond to the material, being
neither too little to concoct it and fix it into form, nor too much so
as to dry it up; it then generates a number of offspring. But from
this first formative semen, if it remains one, and is not divided,
only one young one comes into being.

That, then, the female does not contribute semen to generation,
but does contribute something, and that this is the matter of the
catamenia, or that which is analogous to it in bloodless animals, is
clear from what has been said, and also from a general and abstract
survey of the question. For there must needs be that which generates
and that from which it generates; even if these be one, still they
must be distinct in form and their essence must be different; and in
those animals that have these powers separate in two sexes the body

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