Domestic Encyclopædia (1802)/Animal
ANIMAL, in natural history, signifies an organized, living body, capable of voluntary motion, and endowed with sensation.
The most powerful instinct of animals is, that of self-preservation, and the propagation of the species: in order to promote the purpose for which they are created, both nature and art afford various, and frequently singular expedients. In this place, however, we cannot enter into the particulars, which will be treated of under the different heads of Appetite, Nourishment, Sleep, &c. The two last mentioned sources usually supply those powers which have been wasted by hunger and thirst, motion, perspiration, &c. We observe, on many occasions, the most admirable contrivances of the inferior creation, instinctively displayed; for instance, in the hexagonal cells of bees, and the architectural habitations of the beaver. Man, indeed, is the only animal which is possessed of no artificial instinct, or motives of actions performed by mechanical impulse; but, to compensate for this apparent deficiency, Providence has endowed him with reason, a faculty which elevates him far above all other created beings, and enables him to render himself master of the earth.
With respect to the division of animals into different classes, we refer to the article Animal Kingdom.