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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 225


                    of Ei'bt OSTRI CES.
.moft of them worn and confumed about three quarters, being fratch'd by)
their mutual rubbing,and by that of the Stones,and not by Corrotion cauftd
by
any huumour or acide Spirit, as we found ;becaute that fbme of th&c Voidles,
which were hollow on one fide, and bolTed on the other, were fb worn and
bEiht on one fide of the Boft, that the be remained nothing of the Figure
of
Money: whereas the fide which was hollow, was not at all damaged, its
cavity having defended it from the rubbing of the other Dombles. All the
reft
whvlichi was contained in the 'g-ntricle with thefe Doaldes, as well Stones,
and
Bones, as PulfK and Hay, was glveen. Wee found the fame thing in the 'Zen-
tricle of a Biarxd, where there were Ninety Doubles worn by this rubbing
they had likewifc given a green Colour to a great deal of Hay which ass
thiere.
  This made us to think that in Birds, and generally in all Animals, the
diffolution oft1,.. Nourifhiment is not performed only by fubtile and pene-
tratinm S31iNLr, )ut altfo by the Organical and M\echanical Adion of the
len triclle, wVliC-h wOmprefres and inceffantly beats the things which it
con-
tails ; to tliat in the generality of Animals which do fval]ow a hard
Nouurif lrient wizhout cheving it, ( as Birds which live oni Grain, ) Nature
has made their Ventricle Mulfulous, and has given them the inflinLI of fwal-
lowing Stones, by the means of which they may break in their Ventricle
what others do bruifc with their Teeth. In fine this Affedation which the
generallity of Birds have of Swallowing Stones, has a more manifefi ufe than
that which Eagles and Cranes have of putting Stones into their NefLs. Car-
d2n, and the generallity of other Naturalifis, are of Opinion that the Pentri-
de of Birds, and efpecially of the Oftrich, is flefhy, to afford it more
Heat:
but it is known that the Mufculous and Fibrous flefh aas more by its Mo-
tion than by its Temper; and that one of the principal and moft important
Affions of the Heart, is that of Contraffion and Dilatation, which ferves
not lefs to the Concofcion and alteration of the Blood, than to its diftributi-
on. Ihis probable that thofe who have thought, that the Stones and Iron
which OJtridches do devour,are diffolved in their Ventricle by a particular
virtue
that Nature has given to the Ventricles of different Animals ; by which fome
do digeft 1'oylons, others Bones and raw F  lefh; and that the Oftrich) was
fur-
ni~hcd\ witli that of digefting Metals and Stones, refleEted not on that
at-
tritioln of the Peices of Copper which we have obftrved, and much lefs on
the verdure, with which all that was contain'd in the Ventricle was tinged.
For if the Venticle of the Oftrich had a faculty peculiar for digefing of
Me-
tals, it would digeft them after the fame manner as other things are digefted;
which is to be melted and diffolved, without fuffering other change in their
Colour, than to become white; which proceeds from the almoft infinite it-
tle bubbles which the boyling of the Fermentation there produceth : For
this Ebullition gives a white Colour to whatever it Agitates, as is feen
in
the Froth of Inck, which is white. It is likewife known by Experience
that the things which are diffolved in the Ventricle do receive an alteration
in their Subftance, without changing Colour ; as it is remark'd in Craw-FiJh,
which are found half digefled,in the Ventricles of Fifhes, with their Natural
blacknefs, and not having that rcdnefs which they do acquire, when the
Neat of the Fire Boyls anid alters themafter a mannerlwhich is wery different
                                   E C                            frord


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