The History of Animals

the sheep are devoid of gall-bladders; and in Naxos nearly all the quadrupeds have one so large that foreigners when they offer sacrifice with such victims are bewildered with fright, under the impression that the phenomenon is not due to natural causes, but bodes some mischief to the individual offerers of the sacrifice.

Again, the liver is attached to the great vein, but it has no communication with the aorta; for the vein that goes off from the great vein goes right through the liver, at a point where are the so-called ‘portals’ of the liver. The spleen also is connected only with the great vein, for a vein extends to the spleen off from it.

After these organs come the ‘kidneys’, and these are placed close to the backbone, and resemble in character the same organ in kine. In all animals that are provided with this organ, the right kidney is situated higher up than the other. It has also less fatty substance than the left-hand one and is less moist. And this phenomenon also is observable in all the other animals alike.

Furthermore, passages or ducts lead into the kidneys both from the great vein and from the aorta, only not into the cavity. For, by the way, there is a cavity in the middle of the kidney, bigger in some creatures and less in others; but there is none in the case of the seal. This latter animal has kidneys resembling in shape the identical organ in kine, but in its case the organs are more solid than in any other known creature. The ducts that lead into the kidneys lose themselves in the substance of the kidneys themselves; and the proof that they extend no farther rests on the fact that they contain no blood, nor is any clot found therein. The kidneys, however, have, as has been said, a small cavity. From this cavity in the kidney there lead two considerable ducts or ureters into the bladder; and others spring from the aorta, strong and continuous. And to the middle of each of the two kidneys is attached a hollow sinewy vein, stretching right along the spine through the narrows; by and by these veins are lost in either loin, and again become visible extending to the flank. And these off-branchings of the veins terminate in the bladder. For the bladder lies at the extremity, and is held in position by the ducts stretching from the kidneys, along the stalk that extends to the urethra; and pretty well all round it is fastened by fine sinewy membranes, that resemble to some extent the thoracic diaphragm. The bladder in man is, proportionately to his size, tolerably large.

To the stalk of the bladder the private part is attached, the external orifices coalescing; but a little lower down, one of the openings communicates with the testicles and the other with the bladder. The penis is gristly and sinewy in its texture. With it are connected the testicles in male animals, and the properties of these organs we shall discuss in our general account of the said organ.

All these organs are similar in the female; for there is no difference in regard to the internal organs, except in respect to the womb, and with reference to the appearance of this organ I must refer the reader to diagrams in my ‘Anatomy’. The womb, however, is situated over the bowel, and the bladder lies over the womb. But we must treat by and by in our pages of the womb of all female animals viewed generally. For the wombs of all female animals are not identical, neither do their local dispositions coincide.

These are the organs, internal and external, of man, and such is their nature and such their local disposition.


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