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The fishes called the ervthinus1 and the channe2 are said to have a womb; and those which by the Greeks are called trochi,3 it is said, impregnate themselves. The young of all aquatic animals are without sight at their birth.4

1 Both these fishes have been mentioned in c. 23 of the present Book.

2 Pliny means to say, Cuvier says, that all these fish are to be looked upon as females: and, in fact, he says, Cavolini discovered eggs and a milt in every one that he examined; so that they appear to have all the appliances of self-fecundation.

3 Or wheel-fish: from the Greek τροχὸς, "a wheel." It is not clearly known what animal he alludes to under this name. Snails, Cuvier says, are hermaphrodites, and so is the helix, but still they require sexual connection for the purposes of reproduction. The greater part of the marine univalves, on the other hand, are of separate sexes; but the organ of the male being proportionally of great length, and coiled in part beneath its mantle, this fact may very possibly have given rise to the notion here mentioned by our author, that the animal impregnates itself.

4 This can only be understood, Cuvier says, as applying to those animals the young of which are still enveloped in the membranes of the egg: for in general, the young of fish, from the moment of their birth, have eyes of great beauty, and are remarkable for the quickness of their sight.

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