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1 Cuvier remarks, how very inappropriately Pliny places the pristis (probably the saw-fish) and the balæna among the animals that are covered with hair. Aristotle, he says, in his Hist. Anim. B. vi. c. 12, goes so far as to say that the pristis and the ox-fish (a kind of ray or thorn-back, probably) bring forth their young like the balæna and the dolphin, but does not go beyond that. Cuvier says also, that what is here stated of the sea-calf is in general correct, except the statements as to the properties of its skin and its right fin, the stories relative to which are, of course, neither more nor less than fabulous.
2 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. vi. c. 11, states to the like effect.
3 "Fremitu." From their lowing noise, the French have also called these animals "veaux de mer," and we call them "sea-calvs." Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. xii. c. 56, and Diodorus Siculus, B. iii., also speak of training the sea-calf. Hardouin says that Lopez de Gomara, one of the more recent writers on Mexico, in his day, had given an account of an Indian sea-calf, or manati, as it was called by the natives, that had become quite tame, and answered readily to its name; and that, although not very large, it was able to bear ten men on its back. He also tells us of a much more extraordinary one, which Aldrovandus says he himself had seen at Bologna, which would give a cheer (vocem ederet) for the Christian princes when asked, but would refuse to do so for the Turks; just, Hardouin says, as we see dogs bark, and monkeys grin and jump, at the mention of a particular name.
4 Oppian, Haliut. B. i. 1. 408, mentions this fact, and Juvenal, Sat. iii. 1. 238, alludes to it: "Would break the slumbers of Drusus and of sea-calves."
5 This assertion, though untrue, no doubt, as to sympathy with the tides, is in some degree supported by the statement of Rondelet, B. xvi. c. 6, who says that he had often perceived changes in the wind and weather prognosticated by the hide of this animal; for that when a south wind was about to blow, the hair would stand erect, while when a north wind was on the point of arising, it would lie so flat that you would hardly know that there was any hair on the surface.
6 Hardouin remarks, that Pliny classes the viper probably among the aquatic animals, either because it was said to couple with the muræna, or else because it has a womb not unlike that of the cartilaginous fishes.
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