Hatch out of your egg with Aristotle Sludge the baby dinosaur. In the children’s story Aristotle Sludge - A Modern-Day Dinosaur, by Margaret Leroy, illustrated by Natalie Bould (1991), Tracy finds a dinosaur egg in a pineapple yoghurt pot and her fellow classmates at primary school watch him hatch on their nature table. They call him Aristotle because they have been reading about animals in a volume of Burton’s Guide to Knowledge called Abacus to Aristotle. Aristotle grows up to be a pterodactyl, hates cabbage, loves meat, and eventually flies off to freedom.
The long hatching scene must have been suggested by Aristotle’s famous ‘chick experiment’ in History of Animals 6, where he watched, full of wonder, how chicks developed from the moment when their eggs were laid to their existence several days after they hatched. He recorded the results of his observations every day in precise, rational, scientific prose which approaches pure poetry:
About the twentieth day, if you open the egg and touch the chick, it moves inside and chirps; and it is already coming to be covered with down, when, after the twentieth day is past, the chick begins to break the shell. The head is situated over the right leg close to the flank, and the wing is placed over the head; and about this time is plain to be seen the membrane resembling an afterbirth that comes next after the outermost membrane of the shell…