History of Animals

Author: Aristotle  | Date: 350 BC


Many indications of high intelligence are given by cranes. They will fly to a great distance and up in the air, to command an extensive view; if they see clouds and signs of bad weather they fly down again and remain still. They, furthermore, have a leader in their flight, and patrols that scream on the confines of the flock so as to be heard by all. When they settle down, the main body go to sleep with their heads under their wing, standing first on one leg and then on the other, while their leader, with his head uncovered, keeps a sharp look out, and when he sees anything of importance signals it with a cry.

Pelicans that live beside rivers swallow the large smooth mussel-shells: after cooking them inside the crop that precedes the stomach, they spit them out, so that, now when their shells are open, they may pick the flesh out and eat it.


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Chicago: Aristotle, "Book 9, Chapter 10," History of Animals, trans. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L87H2YM2LI4BZWX.

MLA: Aristotle. "Book 9, Chapter 10." History of Animals, translted by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L87H2YM2LI4BZWX.

Harvard: Aristotle, 'Book 9, Chapter 10' in History of Animals, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L87H2YM2LI4BZWX.