Nov 28, 2015

Dynamics and thermal sensitivity of ballistic and non-ballistic feeding in salamanders

The Journal of Experimental Biology
Stephen M Deban, Jeffrey A Scales

Abstract

Low temperature reduces the performance of muscle-powered movements, but in movements powered by elastic recoil mechanisms, this effect can be mitigated and performance can be increased. To better understand the morphological basis of high performance and thermal robustness of elastically powered movements, we compared feeding dynamics at a range of temperatures (5-25°C) in two species of terrestrial plethodontid salamanders, Plethodon metcalfi and Ensatina eschscholtzii, which differ in tongue muscle architecture and the mechanism of tongue projection. We found that Ensatina is capable of ballistic projection with a mean muscle mass-specific power of 2100 W kg(-1), revealing an elastic mechanism. Plethodon, in contrast, projected its tongue non-ballistically with a mean power of only 18 W kg(-1), indicating it is muscle powered. Ensatina projected its tongue significantly farther than Plethodon and with dynamics that had significantly lower thermal sensitivity at temperatures below 15°C. These performance differences were correlated with morphological differences, namely elongated collagenous aponeuroses in the projector muscle of Ensatina as compared with Plethodon, which are likely the site of energy storage, and the absence...Continue Reading

  • References25
  • Citations7

References

  • References25
  • Citations7

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Projection Defense Mechanism
Plethodon metcalfi
Muscle of Tongue
Skeletal System
Soleus Muscle Structure
Tongue Diseases
Musculoskeletal System
Kinematics
Muscle Fibers
Muscle

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