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Aristotle
On the Parts of Animals

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12

Some animals have all the viscera that have been enumerated; others have only some of them. In what kind of animals this latter is the case, and what is the explanation, has already been stated. Moreover, the self-same viscera present differences in different possessors. For the heart is not precisely alike in all animals that have one; nor, in fact, is any viscus whatsoever. Thus the liver is in some animals split into several parts, while in others it is comparatively undivided. Such differences in its form present themselves even among those sanguineous animals that are viviparous, but are more marked in fishes and in the oviparous quadrupeds, and this whether we compare them with each other or with the Vivipara. As for birds, their liver very nearly resembles that of the Vivipara; for in them, as in these, it is of a pure and blood-like colour. The reason of this is that the body in both these classes of animals admits of the freest exhalation, so that the amount of foul residual matter within is but small. Hence it is that some of the Vivipara are without any gall-bladder at all. For the liver takes a large share in maintaining the purity of composition and the healthiness of the body. For these are conditions that depend finally and in the main upon the blood, and there is more blood in the liver than in any of the other viscera, the heart only excepted. On the other hand, the liver of oviparous quadrupeds and fishes inclines, as a rule, to a yellow hue, and there are even some of them in which it is entirely of this bad colour, in accordance with the bad composition of their bodies generally. Such, for instance, is the case in the toad, the tortoise, and other similar animals.

The spleen, again, varies in different animals. For in those that have horns and cloven hoofs, such as the goat, the sheep, and the like, it is of a rounded form; excepting when increased size has caused some part of it to extend its growth longitudinally, as has happened in the case of the ox. On the other hand, it is elongated in all polydactylous animals. Such, for instance, is the case in the pig, in man, and in the dog. While in animals with solid hoofs it is of a form intermediate to these two, being broad in one part, narrow in another. Such, for example, is its shape in the horse, the mule, and the ass.




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