486 a καὶ ὀστῷ ὀστοῦν· τὸν αὐτὸν δὲ τρόπον καὶ ἵππου καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων, ὅσα τῷ εἴδει ταὐτὰ λέγομεν 20ἑαυτοῖς· ὁμοίως γὰρ ὥσπερ τὸ ὅλον ἔχει πρὸς τὸ ὅλον, καὶ τῶν μορίων ἔχει ἕκαστον πρὸς ἕκαστον. τὰ δὲ ταὐτὰ μέν ἐστιν, διαφέρει δὲ καθ᾿ ὑπεροχὴν καὶ ἔλλειψιν, ὅσων τὸ γένος ἐστὶ ταὐτόν. λέγω δὲ γένος οἷον ὄρνιθα καὶ ἰχθύν· τούτων γὰρ ἑκάτερον ἔχει διαφορὰν κατὰ τὸ γένος, καὶ ἔστιν εἴδη πλείω 25ἰχθύων καὶ ὀρνίθων.

Διαφέρει δὲ σχεδὸν τὰ πλεῖστα τῶν μορίων ἐν 486 bαὐτοῖς1 παρὰ τὰς τῶν παθημάτων ἐναντιώσεις, οἷον 6χρώματος καὶ σχήματος, τῷ τὰ μὲν μᾶλλον ταὐτὰ2 πεπονθέναι τὰ δ᾿ ἧττον, ἔτι δὲ πλήθει καὶ ὀλιγότητι καὶ μεγέθει καὶ σμικρότητι καὶ ὅλως ὑπεροχῇ καὶ ἐλλείψει. τὰ μὲν γάρ ἐστι μαλακόσαρκα αὐτῶν τὰ 10δὲ σκληρόσαρκα, καὶ τὰ μὲν μακρὸν ἔχει τὸ ῥύγχος τὰ δὲ βραχύ, καὶ τὰ μὲν πολύπτερα τὰ δ᾿ ὀλιγόπτερά ἐστιν. οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾿ ἔνιά γε καὶ ἐν τούτοις ἕτερα ἑτέροις μόρια ὑπάρχει, οἷον τὰ μὲν ἔχει πλῆκτρα τὰ δ᾿ οὔ, καὶ τὰ μὲν λόφον ἔχει τὰ δ᾿ οὐκ ἔχει. ἀλλ᾿ ὡς εἰπεῖν τὰ πλεῖστα καὶ ἐξ ὧν μερῶν ὁ πᾶς ὄγκος 15συνέστηκεν, ἢ ταὐτά ἐστιν ἢ διαφέρει τοῖς τ᾿3 ἐναντίοις καὶ καθ᾿ ὑπεροχὴν καὶ ἔλλειψιν· τὸ γὰρ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον ὑπεροχὴν ἄν τις καὶ ἔλλειψιν θείη.


Historia Animalium, I. i

flesh, one’s bone with another’s bone; and the same applies to the parts of a horse, and of such other animals as we consider to be specifically identical; for as the whole is to the whole, so every part is to every part. In other cases, they are, it is true, identical, but they differ in respect of excess and defect: this applies to those whose genusa is the same; and by genus I mean, for example, bird and fish: each of these exhibits difference with respect to genus, and of course there are numerous species both of fishes and of birds.

Now, generally speaking, the differences exhibited in animals by most of the parts lie in the contrasting oppositions of their secondary characteristics,b e.g., of colour or shape: some exhibit the same characteristic, but to a greater or less degree; some differ in respect of possessing more or fewer of a particular feature; some in respect of its greater or smaller size—i.e., generally, they differ by way of excess and defect.c An illustration: the flesh of some animals is soft in consistency, of others, hard; some have a long bill, others a short one; some have many feathers, some few. Furthermore, even among the animals we are discussing, some have parts which are absent from others: e.g., some have spurs, some have not; some have crests, others have not. But, in general, most of the parts, i.e., those out of which the main bulk of the body is composed, are either identical or differ by way of opposition, i.e., by excess and defect—for we may consider “the more and less” as being the same as “excess and defect.”

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-history_animals.1965