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The belly and the intestines are covered with a caul known as the "omentum," consisting of a fatty, thin membrane; except in the case of those animals which are oviparous. To this membrane is attached the spleen, which lies on the left side, and opposite the liver: sometimes, indeed, it changes place with the liver, but such a case is looked upon as nothing less than a prodigy. Some persons imagine that a spleen of extremely diminutive size exists in the oviparous animals, as also in serpents; at all events, it is to be detected in the tortoise, the crocodile, the lizard, and the frog; though it is equally certain that it does not exist in the bird known as the " ægocephalos,"1 nor yet in those animals which are destitute of blood. The spleen sometimes offers a peculiar impe- diment in running, for which reason the region of the spleen is cauterized2 in runners who are troubled with pains there. It is said also, that if the spleen is removed3 by an incision, animals may survive. There are some persons who think that with the spleen man loses the power of laughing, and that excessive laughter is caused by the overgrowth of it. There is a territory of Asia, known as Scepsis,4 in which it is said that the spleen of the cattle is remarkably small, and that from thence it is that remedies for diseases of the spleen have been introduced.

1 Perhaps the godwit, or stone-plover, the Scolopax ægocephala of Linnæus.

2 See also B. xxvi. c. 83.

3 This may be done with safety in dogs or other animals.

4 See B. v. c. 32.

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