I once read somewhere that there are antecedents to Aristotle's system of animal classification in Greek classifications of kinds of foods. And it isn't hard to find references in the Historia Animalium to kinds of animals that are edible, kinds which are more or less nutritious, and the times of year when they are particularly good to eat. For example, HA v. 30 notes male cicadas are better to eat before mating, while female cicadas are better to eat after mating. And HA viii. 13 notes that fish that live close to the shore are more nutritious than those that live in the deep sea. I find it difficult to understand how these categories would have been useful for the biologist; and Aristotle himself doesn't mention them much at all when he gets into the causal treatises on animals.
But even if Aristotle is not ultimately interested in them, it is possible the culinary categories in the Historia Animalum are coming from Aristotle's sources. And in Greek medicine we find such categories playing an important role in works on nutrition. In these contexts, they help to answer a fundamental question: what foods are healthy, when are the healthiest, and how can I know?
Today, it seems we tend to associate the "when" question with fruits and vegetables. But, animals, too, are seasonal foods. There's even a Huffington Post article on this from a few years ago. Animals are better or worse for eating at different times, just like apples and cucumbers. And even though food production does not rely as much on natural cycles as it did, there are still traces of this knowledge in foods we associate with seasonal holidays: e.g., goose at Christmas, or lamb at Pesach or Easter.
Here is an example of a medical text concerning seasonal meats. It is from Oribasius' Medical Collections, but it seems to come originally from Athenaeus of Attalia, which would put it sometime around the end of the first century BCE and the beginning of the first century CE.
"Pigs <after> spring-time are very bad until the setting of the Pleiades in autumn, but from then until spring are excellent. Goats are very bad throughout the winter, but during the spring they start to get better until the setting of Arcturus. And sheep, these are worst throughout the winter, but after the [spring] equinox fatten-up until the summer solstice; cattle, on the other hand, [fatten-up] when the grass goes to seed, while the spring is ending, and all summer long. Of birds, some are excellent throughout the winter, namely whichever appear during the winter: the blackbird, thrush and ringdove. Throughout the autumn, francolins, also blackcaps, fig-pecker and greenfinch, and quails are then fattest. Chickens throughout the winter are not in quite their best shape, especially at the time of the south winds. The turtle dove is best at autumn."
Σύες μὲν <μετὰ > τὴν ἐαρινὴν ὥραν εἰσὶ κάκιστοι μέχρι Πλειάδος δύσεως φθινοπωρινῆς, τὸ δ’ ἐντεῦθεν μέχρι ἦρος κάλλιστοι. αἶγες δὲ τὸν μὲν χειμῶνα κάκισται, τοῦ δ’ ἦρος ἄρχονται κρείσσους γίνεσθαι μέχρι Ἀρκτούρου δύσεως. πρόβατα δὲ καὶ ταῦτα τὸν μὲν χειμῶνα κάκιστα, μετὰ δὲ τὴν ἰσημερίαν πιαίνεται μέχρι τροπῶν θερινῶν· αἱ δὲ βόες, ὅταν ἡ πόα ἐκκαρπῇ ἦρός τε παυομένου καὶ τῷ θέρει παντί. τῶν δ’ ὀρνίθων οἱ μὲν κατὰ χειμῶνα κάλλιστα ἔχουσιν, ὅσοι γε ἐπιφαίνονται χειμῶνος, ὁ κόσσυφός τε καὶ ἡ κίχλα καὶ φάσσα· οἱ δ’ ἀτταγῆνες κατὰ τὸ φθινόπωρον καὶ μελαγκόρυφοι συκαλίς τε καὶ χλωρὶς καὶ ὄρτυγες τηνικαῦτα πιότατοι. ἀλεκτορίδες τὸν μὲν χειμῶνα οὐ πάνυ εὐσωματοῦσι καὶ μάλιστα ἐν νοτίοις· ἡ δὲ τρυγὼν ἐν φθινοπώρῳ καλλίστη. τῶν δ’ ἰχθύων οἱ μὲν ἐν τῇ κυήσει κάλλιστοι, κάρις, κάραβος καὶ τὰ μαλάκια, τευθίς, σηπία, τὰ δ’ ὅταν ἄρχηται ἐπωάζεσθαι, ὥσπερ οἱ κέφαλοι, ὑπερπλησθέντες δ’ οὗτοι τῶν κυημάτων λεπτοὶ καὶ ἄτροφοι καὶ ἔτι μᾶλλον τεκόντες. ὁ δὲ θύννος πιότατος μετ’ Ἀρκτοῦρον, θέρους δὲ χείρων.
Oribasius, Collectiones Medicae I 3, CMG VI 1,1 8,27-9,7 Raeder