1. Measurements of freezing-point depression and chemical analysis have been made of the plasma and urine of Myxine.
2. The plasma is generally slightly hypertonic to sea water whilst the urine tends to be slightly hypotonic to the blood.
3. The urinary output is low (5·4±1·6 ml./kg./day) and the majority of animals do not swallow sea water.
4. Analyses of plasma and urine indicate that the kidney participates in ionic regulation by reducing the concentrations of calcium, magnesium and sulphate in the plasma relative to sea water. Chloride seems to be conserved whilst potassium may be conserved or excreted.
The high concentration of magnesium in the plasma of animals kept in static sea water may be caused by the after effects of urethane. These animals continue to excrete magnesium at normal rates.
5. The rates at which calcium, magnesium and sulphate enter an animal which does not swallow sea water are proportional to the diffusion gradients which exist between the external medium and the plasma. The situation is more complicated for monovalent ions, but there is no evidence of specialized ion-transporting cells within the gill epithelium.
6. In those animals which swallow sea water the amounts of ions absorbed from the gut are very large compared with the renal output and it would therefore seem unlikely that swallowing is part of the normal mechanism of salt and water balance.
7. It is argued that the mechanism of salt and water balance in Myxine is likely to be primitive and that the vertebrate glomerulus was probably developed originally in sea water as an ion-regulating device.