In "History of Animals," Aristotle analyzes differences in parts, activities, modes of life, and character across the animal kingdom, in preparation for establishing their causes, which are the concern of his other zoological works. Over 500 species of animals are considered: shellfish, insects, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals including human beings. In Books I IV, Aristotle gives a comparative survey of internal and external body parts, including tissues and fluids, and of sense faculties and voice. Books V VI study reproductive methods, breeding habits, and embryogenesis as well as some secondary sex differences. In Books VII IX, Aristotle examines differences among animals in feeding; in habitat, hibernation, migration; in enmities and sociability; in disposition (including differences related to gender) and intelligence. Here too he describes the human reproductive system, conception, pregnancy, and obstetrics. Book X establishes the female s contribution to generation. The Loeb Classical Library(r) edition of "History of Animals" is in three volumes. A full index to all ten books is included in the third (Volume XI of the Aristotle edition
Aristotle was born at Stageira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato, on whose death in 347 he left, and, some time later, became tutor of the young Alexander the Great. When Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia in 335, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his school and research institute, the Lyceum, to which his great erudition attracted a large number of scholars.
After Alexander's death in 323, anti-Macedonian feeling drove Aristotle out of Athens, and he fled to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. Very many of them have survived and among the most famous are the Ethics and the Politics.