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In drinking, those animals which have serrated1 teeth, lap; and common mice do the same, although they belong to another class. Those which have the teeth continuous, horses and oxen, for instance, sup; bears do neither the one nor the other, but seem to bite at the water, and so devour it. In Africa, the greater part of the wild beasts do not drink in summer, through the want of rain; for which reason it is that the mice of Libya, when caught, will die if they drink. The ever-thirsting plains of Africa produce the oryx,2 an animal which, in consequence of the nature of its native locality, never drinks, and which, in a remarkable manner, affords a remedy against drought: for the Gætulian bandits by its aid fortify themselves against thirst, by finding in its body certain vesicles filled with a most wholesome liquid. In this same Africa, also, the pards conceal themselves in the thick foliage of the trees, and then spring down from the branches on any creature that may happen to be passing by, thus occupying what are ordinarily the haunts of the birds. Cats too, with what silent stealthiness, with what light steps do they creep towards a bird! How slily they will sit and watch, and then dart out upon a mouse! These animals scratch up the earth and bury their ordure, being well aware that the smell of it would betray their presence.

1 Pliny alludes to dogs, cats, and similar mammifera, as having serrated teeth; the term, however, is quite inappropriate.

2 See B. viii. c. 79.

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