has been already stated. They do not copulate andLions, bear at every season, but once every year. Parturition is in spring, and the lioness bears usually two cubs, at the most six, though sometimes only one. The story which is told about the lioness losing her uterus in parturition is nonsense, and was made up to account for the scarcity of lions by someone who was at a loss to explain it otherwise. It is a fact that the lion is a scarce animal, and is not found in many places—in the whole of Europe it occurs only in the tract of country between the rivers Acheloös and Nessos.a The lioness’ cubs are so small when born that at two months they can barely walk. Lions in Syria bear five times: five the first time, then one fewer each succeeding time; after that they bear no more, but continue without offspring.b The lioness has no mane; only the lion has one. The lion sheds only the four so-called canine teeth, two from the upper jaw and two from the lower; this happens at the age of six months.
In colour the hyena is similar to the wolf, but it hasXXXII Hyenas. a shaggier coat, and a mane the whole length of its spine. The statement is made that the hyena has both male and female sexual organs; but this is untrue. In fact the sex-organ of the male resembles that of the wolf and the dog; the organ which is thought to be like that of the female is under the tail, and in shape does resemble that of the female, but there is no passage connected with it, and the passage for the residue is situated underneath it. The female
- aCf. 606 b 15. The authority is Herodotus vii. 126: “The boundary of the lions’ country is the river Nestos [sic] which flows through the territory of Abdera [in Thrace] and the river Acheloös which flows through Acarnania: neither to the east of the Nestos in the whole of the fore part of Europe [sc., the part nearest to Asia Minor] would you see a lion, nor westward of the Acheloös in the rest of the mainland; but in between these two rivers they are to be found.”
- bRepeated at G.A. 750 a 32 ff., where the reason is given.