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1 This, as Hardouin says, is the polypus which is found on the seashore, and which more frequently comes on dry land than the other kinds.
2 The arms of the polypus have numerous names with the Latin authors. Ovid calls them "flagella,"—"whips;" others again, "cirri"—"curls;" "pedes"—"feet" "crura"—"legs;" and "crines"—"hair."
3 This, Cuvier says, is quite unintelligible; for all the polypi have an oval body, of the shape of a bag, and there is nothing in them that bears any resemblance to a tail, forked or otherwise.
4 This channel, Cuvier says, is in form of a funnel reversed, by means of which the animal draws in and ejects the water that is requisite for its respiration, and discharges the ink and other excretions. It is in the forepart of the body, and at the orifice of the bag, and not on the back, as Pliny says; but, as Cuvier remarks, it was very easy for a person to be deceived in this matter, as the head, being in form of a cylinder, and fringed with the so-called feet, cannot be said to be distinguished into an upper and lower side.
5 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. iv. c. 2, says that the animal is obliged to do so, on account of the situation of the eyes.
7 "Acetabulis." The acetabulum was properly a vinegar cruet, in shape resembling an inverted cone; from a supposed similarity in the appearance. it is here applied to the suckers of the polypus. The Greek name is κοτυληδὼν.
8 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 59.
9 Cuvier says, that the changes of colour of the skin of the polypus are continual, and succeed each other with an extreme rapidity; but that it has not been observed, any more than the chameleon, to take the colour of objects in its vicinity.
10 This notion is mentioned by Athenæus, Pherecrates, Alcæus, Hesiod, Oppian, and Ælian.
11 Cuvier says, that Pliny states, in B. xxix. c. 28, that the colotis, or colotes of the Greeks, is the same as their ascalabotes, the "stellio" of the Latins. This stellio is the same as the "gecko" of the moderns, and the species known in Italy and Greece is the same as the "wall gecko" of the French, or the tarente of the Provencals. From what Pliny says here about its tail, it would appear to have been a lizard; but its identity with the stellio, Cuvier says, is very doubtful. It will be mentioned more at length in B. xi. c. 31.
12 It is very true, Cuvier says, that the tail of the gecko and lizard will grow again after it has been cut off, but without vertebra. As to the arms of the polypus, he says, it is very possible, seeing that the horns of the snail, which belongs to the same family, will grow again.
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