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Perrault, Claude, 1613-1688 / Memoir's for a natural history of animals : containing the anatomical descriptions of several creatures dissected by the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris
(1688)

The anatomical description of eight ostriches,   pp. 217-238 ff.


Page 221


                   of Eight                                        2 IH E
S.              ,2 1
as nuali ln brinlingiV them foria)va  dand tlhiC wouild happeni to tiltin
oie in-
conveni- nce to \hicllh the Witi- ot Batis, l{£zr-$Yl' , and Tl-Y(s,
would be
fuibjet, if Nature had not pros ided againit it, by living tle icWings of
tite
Animals the me~ntiv of being contraSted in fuch a mnanner, when they are
rail-
ed, that liev do itrike a le1f quantity of Ai-, than when they are lokver'd
a-
gain. For this Contracting is made in Batts by the means of Bones that
they have in their Wings, and which do make as it were the fingers of their
hands, the diftance between which are garnifhed with I fkins which they do
contraa and alternately extend as need rcquiirs. The Wings of l3lhtcr.f es
and ElIjes do perform the fame Adtion by the means of certain Fioers7 which
have an effed like to that of the fingers of the Ba~t; and the fpced and
force
with which the wins ofFlys are removed, and how they are capable of
making fo great a Noife as is that, not only of the buzzing of Hor;;,'t;,
but even of little Flyes, fuch as are Gnatts, which is heard to a great dilance,
imitating the found of a Trumpet, is a thing very Surprizing.
  The Motion of the \Wings of the OVJriches, can at the molt ferve only af-
ter the fame manner as that of the Tail of other Birds, and tllofie of F
ithes,
which is in tiuth a motion proper to make a Progreffion; but it is certain
that the Feathers of the Qjtrich cannot have this effct), being like a tuft
of
Ioofs and floating threads; feeing that to the end that fuch a Motion may
have fome eff rct is neceffary that the Organ have a Surface,flrait, even,
and
firm, fuch as ii in a Rudder, in an Oar, in the Sail of a Wind-mill, &-c.
  It is prcbaoic that the Author of the Book of 'ob had refleded on all thefe
things, when he Defcribes the OJirich, as anl Animal to which God has de-
ny'd the addi eis which he hath given to other Birds, and which hle has not
furnifhed with Organs convenient to eXercife the admirable Aaion of Fly.
ing; having fcarce any other ufe of its. Wings, than to raife them to receive
the Impulfe of the Wind, when it is favourable to its Courfe. ITherefore
Cardax compares, or rather very much 9ppofes the Ojirich to the Bird of
Pardidfe, which was formerly thought to have no Feet; becaufe that the
Bird of Paradife is a Bird, which according to the Opinion of Cardan,
never walks nor lights on the ground, even as the Ojirich is one which nei-
ther Flyes nor rifes into the Air.
  Befides the Feathers which we have defcribed, we have obferved that the
top of the Neck and Head were garnished with - very fine, white, clear
Down, ihining like the Briftle of a Hog; fQ that it feemed to partake
more of Hair than of Feathers. This Down was heaped together in little
Tufts, compofed of about twelve Hairs, of but one Line in length, except
the Hair in the middle, which was foum: All the Hairs of one lock had all
together but one Root, which was a little Tube about the bignefs of the
fmallefi Pin. This Downe was very clear and very thin in the Neck, and
much more on the Head, which was abfolutely bald at the top: This
Pliny reports to be Natural only to two Birds, -viz. the Ojirich and Cormo-
rant, for that reafon called Phalacrocorax.
  *At the end of each Wing there was a kind of Spurr, made almoil like the
Pricks of a Porcupine: They were an Inch long, and a Line and a half thick
at the Bafis; their Subftance was Horny; they were hollow, and in the Ca-
vity there was a Cartilage covered with Membranes and Ligaments, with


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