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Whether the lion's neck is continuous and not hollow.

Further one asks whether the neck of the lion is continuous and not hollow.

1. It seems that it is not. For vertebrae, that is, joints, are in the neck of another animal, so that it may move or turn its head this way or that more freely. Since the lion is a very fast and quite rapacious animal, all the more so does it require joints in its neck so that it may move it this way and that as it leaps after its prey.

2. Likewise, marrow is the nourishment for bones, but marrow is in the hollow of a bone. If, then, the neck of the lion lacked this cavity, there would be no marrow in it and, as result, it would be deprived of nourishment.

But the Philosopher says the opposite.

To this one must answer that the lion's neck is continuous and without a joint for two reasons. One arises on account of the end, because a lion is a rapacious animal living on prey and it is a very combative animal, pitting itself against animals of great power and size, and solid members are thus required, of necessity. On this account, its neck is continuous, because if it were jointed through vertebrae it would be easily broken. Another reason is because of the material. For the lion is a choleric animal, and for that reason is very audacious and confident. Now a choleric person dares to rise up against three or four others even if they are stronger than he is, and it is the same for the lion. This is the reason heat especially abounds in the lion. And this is why although the moderate heat in other animals converts flesh or marrowy food into nourishment for the bones, this is not so in the lion. Rather, its great heat consumes the whole marrow and that is why its bones are solid, and without marrow or a cavity. This is also the reason, on account of their solidity throughout, that rubbing the lion's bones together can create fire, the same as from striking together rock and iron.

1. One should respond to the first argument that because of the lion's fortitude and exceeding boldness it is necessary that its neck be continuous.

2. To the second argument one must respond that the lion's bones are warmed or use nourishment just as its other parts do. But on account of its great heat the marrow is not preserved in the bones, but rather is dispersed through the parts and is consumed in part by the excessive heat.

Whether the right foot is more unfettered and better suited for motion than the left.

One asks whether the right foot is more unfettered and better suited for motion than the left.

It seems that this is not so. Because warm and dry things are the better suited to motion. But in the human the left side is warmer and dryer, because the heart, which is the principle of heat, leans to the left side, and on the left side lies the spleen, which is the receptacle of melancholy, but on the right side is the liver in which moisture abounds. Therefore, the left side is better suited for motion than the right.

The Philosopher says the opposite.

One should say that in all but the human, the left foot is less suited for motion than the right, just as the left hand is less suited for motion than the right, because all animals use their front feet in the place of hands on the human. An indication of this is that they are better fitted for motion, just as a person's hands are more dexterous than his feet. Nevertheless, the elephant is an exception, because on account of its body's size it has larger and less flexible front feet so that it may more readily bear the weight of its body and the burden placed upon them. Now in this sense it is true that a warm and dry part is better suited for motion than a cold and moist one. This is why members that are paralyzed are not suited for motion, on account of their moisture. But the heart, which is the principal member in the animal, infuses its power into the right side, and the heart is the warmest member. For this reason, right sides are better suited for motion. Nevertheless, in the human the heart leans to the left side, insofar as it can do so, and as a result the left side will be warmer than the right, and then the person has a left side more suited to motion than the right, as in many cases it happens that a person is ambidextrous. And for this reason the members on the right side in males are larger, on account of the greater influx from the heart on that side, but in females the members on the left side are larger, on account of the superfluity of the moisture and the weakness of their digestion.

One must respond to the argument that although the heart may incline to the left side in terms of its position, nevertheless it infuses its heat and power more to the right side. For this reason, it inclines more to the right side in terms of its influence.

 
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