Fast muscle function in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla, L.) during aquatic and terrestrial locomotion

I.L.Y. Spierts, D.J. Ellerby, J.D. Altringham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

Eels are capable of locomotion both in water and on land using undulations of the body axis, powered by the lateral musculature. Differences in kinematics and the underlying patterns of fast muscle activation are apparent between locomotion in these two environments. The change in isometric fast muscle properties with axial location was less marked than in most other species. Time from stimulus to peak force (Ta) did not change significantly with axial position and was 82 ± 6 ms at 0.45 BL and 93 ± 3 ms at 0.75 BL, where BL is total body length from the snout. Time from stimulus to 90% relaxation (T90) changed significantly with axial location, increasing from 203 ± 11 at 0.45 BL to 239 ± 9 at 0.75 BL. Fast muscle power outputs were measured using the work loop technique, under conditions that simulated their use during aquatic and terrestrial locomotion Maximum power outputs at ±5% strain using optimal stimulus parameters were 17.3 ± 1.3 W kg-1 in muscle from 0.45 BL and 16.3 ± 1.5 W kg-1 in muscle from 0.75 BL. Power output peaked at a cycle frequency of 2 Hz. The muscle strain and stimulus parameters associated with swimming generated greater force and power than those associated with terrestrial crawling. This decrease in muscle performance may occur because on land the eel is constrained to a particular kinematic pattern in order to produce thrust against an underlying substrate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts of the 7th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology, July 27 - August 1 2004, Boca Raton, Florida
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, Florida, USA
Pages330
Volume260
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event7th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology -
Duration: 27 Jul 20041 Aug 2004

Conference

Conference7th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology
Period27/07/041/08/04

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