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History of Animals, Book I, Ch. 4

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1. There are also viviparous, oviparous, and vermiparous animals. The viviparous, are such as man, and the horse, the seal, and others which have hair, and among marine animals the cetacea, as the dolphin and those which are called selache.

Some of these are furnished with a blow-hole, but have no gills, as the dolpbin and the whale. The dolphin has its blow-hole on the back, the whale in its forehead; others have open gills, as the selache, the galeus, and the batus.  That is called the egg of the perfect foetus, from which the future animal is produced, from a part at first, while the remainder serves for its food. The worm is that from the whole of which the future animal is produced, and the foetus afterwards acquires parts and increases in size.

2. Some viviparous animals are internally oviparous, as the selache; others are internally viviparous, as mankind and the horse. In different animals the foetus assumes a different form, when first brought into the world, and is either a living creature, an egg, or a worm. Some animals, as birds, are hard-shelled, and are of two colours. Those of the selache and some other animals are soft-skinned, and have only one colour. Some species of the vermiform foetus are capable of motion, others are not. But in another place, when we treat of generation, we will dwell more accurately on these subjects.

Source:  Aristotle, History of Animals; translated by Richard Cresswell, M.A. (1862)


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