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There are two species of lions; in the one the body is shorter and more compact, and the mane more crisp and curly;1 these are more timid than those with a longer body and straight hair, which, in fact, have no fear of wounds. The males raise the leg like the dog, when they pass their urine;2 which has a most disagreeable odour, the same being the case too with their breath. They seldom drink, and only take food every other day;3 when they have gorged themselves, they will sometimes go without food for three days. They swallow their food whole, without mastication, so far as they are able; and when they have taken more than the stomach can possibly receive, they extract part of it by thrusting their claws into the throat; the same too, if, when full, they have occasion to take to flight. That they are very long-lived is proved by the fact, that many of them are found without teeth. Polybius,4 the companion of Æmilianus, tells us, that when they become aged they will attack men, as they have no longer sufficient strength for the pursuit of wild beasts. It is then that they lay siege to the cities of Africa; and for this reason it was, that he, as well as Scipio, had seen some of them hung upon a cross; it being supposed that others, through dread of a similar punishment, might be deterred from committing the like outrages.

1 Cuvier remarks, that we have no knowledge of the lion with curled hair, so frequently spoken of by the ancients. He suggests that there may have been a peculiar variety between the rivers Achelous and Nestus or Mestus, or perhaps, more probably, that it was altogether imaginary. He states also, that we no longer see lions without manes, but that Olivier had seen some at Bagdat. Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 44, speaks of the two species of lions, and describes them nearly as Pliny has done.—B.

2 According to Cuvier, this is not the case; the lion passes its urine just as the other animals of the same family. Pliny again refers to the odour of the lion's breath, in B. xi. e. 115.—B.

3 The lion, like other carnivorous animals, is able to receive a large quantity of food into the stomach, and to remain for a proportionably longer period without eating; but the statement respecting its taking food on alternate days, is without foundation. There does not appear to be any ground for the account of the mode by which it relieves the stomach when overcharged.—B.

4 We learn from Cicero, Ep. Fam. B. v. Ep. 12, that Polybius wrote a history of the Numantine war, in which we may presume the account here referred to was contained.—B.

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