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The cray-fish,1 which belongs to that class of animals which is destitute of blood, is protected by a brittle crust. This creature keeps itself concealed for five months, and the same is the case with crabs, which disappear for the same period. At the beginning of spring, however, they both2 of them, after the manner of snakes, throw off old age, and renew their coverings. While other animals swim on the water, cray-fish float with a kind of action like creeping. They move onwards, if there is nothing to alarm3 them, in a straight line, extending on each side their horns, which are rounded at the point by a ball peculiar to them; but, on the other hand, the moment they are alarmed, they straighten these horns, and proceed with a sidelong motion. They also use4 these horns when fighting with each other. The cray-fish is the only animal that has the flesh in a pulpy state, and not firm and solid, unless it is cooked alive in boiling water.

(31.) The cray-fish frequents rocky places, the crab5 spots which present a soft surface. In winter they both choose such parts of the shore as are exposed to the heat of the sun, and in summer they withdraw to the shady recesses of deep inlets of the sea. All fish of this kind suffer from the cold of winter, but become fat during autumn and spring, and more particularly during the full moon; for the warmth of that luminary, as it shines in the night, renders6 the temperature of the weather more moderate.

1 "Locusta;" literally, the "locust" of the sea. By this name is meant, Cuvier says, the "langouste" of the French (our cray-fish), which has no large forcipes, and has a thorax covered with spines; the Palinurus quadricornis of the naturalists. This is clearly the κάραβος of Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 23; for we generally find it thus translated by Pliny, when he borrows anything from that philosopher. We know that the body of this animal was spiny, from the fact that Tiberius, as we learn from Suetonius, cruelly caused the face of a fisherman who had offended him, to be rubbed with a locusta.

2 Aristotle, and Theophrastus, in his "Treatise on Animals which conceal themselves," state to a similar effect.

3 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 4, states to a similar effect.

4 Aristotle, loc. cit., and Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 25, state to the same effect.

5 Hardouin says, that this must be only understood of the kind of crab known as the "astacus;" that being the one mentioned by Aristotle, in the passage from which Pliny has borrowed.

6 He mentions, in B. ii. c. 41, the effect which the rays of the moon have upon the growth of shell-fish.

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