Whether animals breathe during the time of concealment.
One inquires further whether animals breathe during the time of concealment.
And it seems so. The natural heat resembles the heat of a lamp. But the heat of a lamp is extinguished in two ways: in one way, by blowing it out; in another, by suffocating it. And the natural heat is likewise extinguished in two ways. If there were no ventilation in an animal through respiration when the animal lies in hiding, then the natural heat would be extinguished, and, as a result, animals like these would not live.
Moreover, an animal lying in hiding participates more in the operations of life than does a dying animal. But there is respiration in a dying animal, and there is, therefore, all the more reason for it to exist in animals lying hidden.
To the contrary, respiration is only necessary on account of the vehemence of the internal heat. But in animals like these the heat is dulled and is weak. Therefore, they do not have to breathe.
One must reply that, for the most part, animals like these that is, serpents, swallows, the cuckoo, and the likedo not always breathe during the period of lying hidden, just as bees do not. One must understand, however, that there are three kinds [genus] of animals. Some are hot and have blood, and ones like this always breathe. Other animals are cold and lack blood, and ones like this never breathe because they do not have lungs. And some occupy a middle position: for they are warm, but weakly so, and this is why they lie as if stupefied in the presence of a penetrating cold and are aroused to movement and for external operations when warmth arrives. Thus in the period of lying hidden they do not have to breathe because the heat in them is not abundant. Nevertheless, during the period when they are seen, they do breathe, because then the heat in them is fortified.
And if one should object that a contrary is fortified in the presence of its contrary, and that therefore the natural heat of such animals is strengthened in the presence of an external cold, and that, as a result, they will need to breathe then even more, one must reply that some have a strong heat that is not overpowered by the presence of the cold, and such heat is fortified in the presence of cold. But some have a weak heat, and in ones like this (such as serpents and the like) the heat is not strengthened but is rather weakened by the cold. And in this way a solution is apparent.
Whether life is preserved longer in places that are warm and moist, cold and dry, or cold and moist.
One inquires further, since some places are warm and moist, and some are cold and dry, and some cold and moist, where life is preserved longer.
1. And it seems that life is preserved longer in moist places, whether they are warm or cold, than in dry places. Old age is a path to death. Therefore, the prolongation of old age delays death. But in warm places, people grow grey more quickly, for Avicenna says that in the lands of the black Ethiopians people grow old at age thirty. Therefore, they live for a shorter period.
2. Moreover, life is based on warmth and moisture, and it is shortened when these are dissipated. But in a warm region the external heat of the region penetrates to the interior heat, dissipates it, and causes the natural heat and moisture to evaporate. Therefore, etc.
3. The Philosopher says the opposite in the book On the Reason for Shortness or Length of Life. For he says that animals live longer in warm and moist places.
4. And this is clear from the argument that philosophers choose to reside and to study in places near the sea, and this is only because these places are warm and moist.
5. And it is also clear from another argument, that a thing is preserved by the same things on which it is based. But life is based on the hot and moist, and therefore, etc.
6. Moreover, life is preserved by nutriment, but nutriment is more abundant in warm places than in cold, as the physicians say, and this is clear to one inspecting warm lands in comparison to cold ones. Therefore, etc.
There is a disagreement between Aristotle and the natural philosophers [ physicos] on this question. For the Philosopher proposes that life is extended in warm and moist places, whereas the others propose that this occurs in cold places. As a result, in order to resolve this disagreement, one must introduce the distinction that some animals are warm and some are cold. Cold animals live longer in warm places than in cold places, because their own cold is intensified and their own heat dulled by the cold of the place. Thus in winter serpents lie hidden in warm burrows in the ground. And in the same way Avicenna says that asses do not live in Scythia, which is a cold region, because they are cold animals. Warm animals exist in a contrary fashion, because they have a loose composition in a warm region. Thus the external heat easily penetrates through the open pores to the interior and causes the natural heat to escape and consumes and dissipates the natural moisture. This is why warm animalsand humans belong to this groupdo not live as long in such warm places.
Nevertheless a distinction can be made about the heat and the moisture of a place. Now, one is a natural and tempered heat and moisture, and another is accidental and distempered. The first one contributes to life, whereas the second does not because every natural corruption arises from such a heat, as is said in the fourth book of On Meteorology.
1, 2. A solution to the arguments is apparent in this way, because the first ones speak the truth about warm animals.
3. A solution to the first argument to the contrary is apparent, since the Philosopher is thinking about cold animals and about a tempered heat and moisture, and the others are thinking about the contrary.
4. To the second argument one must reply that places near the sea do not cause the extension of life. In these places two things come into consideration. Specifically, one is the proper tempering of the heat and moisture and how much this contributes to the longevity of life, but the other is the infection of the air from corrupt vapors released by the sea. Thus, such vapors or such infected air when it is inhaled often causes a corruption in the lungs because it infects the principle of life, namely, the heart and its spirits, and as a result it contributes to the brevity of life.
5. One must reply to the third argument that just as life is based on warmth and natural moisture that is tempered, so is it preserved by them, but these shorten life when they are unnatural and intemperate.
6. To the fourth argument one must reply that the conservation of life is twofold. The first way is by an internal principle, which is the warm and the moist, and this sort is greater in cold places. In another way, it is by an external principle, for example, by the nutriment, and this sort of conservation of life is more frequent in warm places. But there is no question about this one. Truly, although the nutriment is more abundant in warm and moist places, nevertheless sufficient nutriment is found in cold places. Indeed, people eat incomparably more at a sitting in cold places than in warm ones. Thus, one Pole or German eats more in a single day than a Lombard or a Frenchman does in four, etc. In this way a solution is evident.