Jun 21, 2014

Thermal effects on the performance, motor control and muscle dynamics of ballistic feeding in the salamander Eurycea guttolineata

The Journal of Experimental Biology
Christopher V AndersonStephen M Deban


Temperature strongly affects muscle contractile rate properties and thus may influence whole-organism performance. Movements powered by elastic recoil, however, are known to be more thermally robust than muscle-powered movements. We examined the whole-organism performance, motor control and muscle contractile physiology underlying feeding in the salamander Eurycea guttolineata. We compared elastically powered tongue projection with the associated muscle-powered retraction to determine the thermal robustness of each of these functional levels. We found that tongue-projection distance in E. guttolineata was unaffected by temperature across the entire 4-26°C range, tongue-projection dynamics were significantly affected by temperature across only the 4-11°C interval, and tongue retraction was affected to a higher degree across the entire temperature range. The significant effect of temperature on projection dynamics across the 4-11°C interval corresponds to a significant decline in projector muscle burst intensity and peak contractile force of the projector muscle across the same interval. Across the remaining temperature range, however, projection dynamics were unaffected by temperature, with muscle contractile physiology showing ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Surface Electromyography
Muscle Physiology
Elastic Tissue
Eurycea guttolineata
Benign Neoplasm of Tongue
Predatory Behavior

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