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1 "De aquaticis et iisdem terrestribus;" although these words are inserted in the title of this Chapter, the subject is not treated of in it.—B.
2 Pliny here adopts the vulgar opinion respecting the origin of the substance called "castor," and in B. xxxii. c. 13, gives a more correct description, which he had derived from a physician, named Sextius. It is a fetid, oily substance, secreted by a gland situate near the prepuce. Cuvier remarks, that when the gland becomes distended with this secretion, the animal may probably get rid of it by rubbing the part against a stone or tree, and in this way, leave the castor for the hunters, thus giving rise to the vulgar error. Ajasson, vol. vi. p. 448; Lemaire, vol. iii. p. 440.—B.
3 The beaver has the most powerful teeth of any animal of the class Rodentia, to which it belongs; it uses them for cutting down trees, with which it constructs its habitation. Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 5, refers to this.—B.
4 The tail is covered with a kind of scale, and is flattened; but, in its internal organization, is formed like those of other quadrupeds.—B.
5 See B. xxxii. c. 52.
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