Table of Contents:
It is also said that the male has something corresponding to the parts of generation of one of his arms, in which there are his two large feelers; and that it is a limb full of nerves, sticking to the arm all along as far as the middle. But, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, Aristotle says—“The polypus propagates his species in the winter, and brings forth in the spring; and it lies in its hole for about two months: and it is a very prolific animal. But the male differs from the female, both in having a longer head, and also in having what the fishermen call its parts of generation in one of its feelers. And when it brings forth, it sits on its eggs, on which account it is worse to eat at that season; and the polypus lays its eggs either in its bed, or in any potsherd, or hollow place or vessel of that sort. And after fifty days, the little polypi come forth out of the egg in immense numbers, like young spiders. But the female polypus sometimes sits upon the eggs, and sometimes clings to the mouth of the bed, holding on with one of its feelers.” Theophrastus, in his treatise on those Animals which change their Colour, says that the polypus generally becomes like only to those places which are rocky, doing this both out of fear and for the sake of protecting itself. But, in his book on those Animals which live on dry Land, he says that the polypi are not fond of sea-water. But, in his treatise on those Things which are different according to the Differences of their [p. 500] Situation, Theophrastus says that there are no polypi about the Hellespont; for that that sea is cold, and not very salt, and that both these circumstances are unfavourable to the polypus.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.