Jun 21, 2016

Extreme Performance and Functional Robustness of Movement are Linked to Muscle Architecture: Comparing Elastic and Nonelastic Feeding Movements in Salamanders

Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological Genetics and Physiology
Jeffrey A ScalesStephen M Deban


Muscle-powered movements are limited by the contractile properties of muscles and are sensitive to temperature changes. Elastic-recoil mechanisms can both increase performance and mitigate the effects of temperature on performance. Here, we compare feeding movements in two species of plethodontid salamanders, Bolitoglossa franklini and Desmognathus quadramaculatus, across a range of body temperatures (5-25°C) to better understand the mechanism of elastically powered, thermally robust movements. Bolitoglossa exhibited ballistic, elastically powered tongue projection with a maximum muscle mass specific power of 4,642 W kg(-1) while Desmognathus demonstrated nonballistic, muscle-powered tongue projection with a maximum power of 359 W kg(-1) . Tongue-projection performance in Bolitoglossa was more thermally robust than that of Desmognathus, especially below 15°C. The improved performance and thermal robustness of Bolitoglossa was associated with morphological changes in the projector muscle, including elaborated collagen aponeuroses and the absence of myofibers attaching directly to the tongue skeleton. The elongated aponeuroses likely increase the capacity for elastic energy storage, and the lack of myofibers inserting on the tong...Continue Reading

  • References20
  • Citations5


  • References20
  • Citations5


Mentioned in this Paper

Projection Defense Mechanism
Muscle Cells
Skeletal System
Soleus Muscle Structure
PRF protein, Plethodon jordani
Desmognathus quadramaculatus
Bolitoglossa franklini

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