The Pacific bonito, Sarda chiliensis, is anatomically intermediate between mackerel and tuna. The specialisations exhibited by tuna are present in the bonito, but to a lesser degree. Slow-twitch muscle strain and activity patterns were determined during steady swimming (tailbeat frequency 1.2-3.2 Hz) at four locations on the body of Sarda chiliensis using sonomicrometry and electromyography. Both strain and the phase of electromygraphic activity were independent of tailbeat frequency. The strain of superficial slow-twitch muscle increased from +/−3.1 % l(0) at 0.35FL to +/−5.8 % l(0) at 0.65FL, where l(0) is muscle resting length and FL is the body length from snout to tail fork. Between 0.35 and 0.65FL, there was a negative phase shift of 16 degrees in the onset of electromygraphic activity in superficial slow-twitch muscle relative to the strain cycle. Muscle activity patterns are comparable with those of tuna. At 0.58FL, the onset of activity in deep slow-twitch muscle was approximately synchronous with the onset of activity in superficial muscle in the same myotome at 0.65FL. The distribution of slow-twitch muscle along the body of Sarda chiliensis and four additional fish species, Anguilla anguilla, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Scomber scombrus and Thunnus albacares, was also measured. Slow-twitch muscle appears to become more concentrated at approximately 0.5FL as swimming kinematics become more thunniform.
Slow muscle function of Pacific bonito (Sarda chiliensis) during steady swimming
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D.J. Ellerby, J.D. Altringham, T. Williams, B.A. Block; Slow muscle function of Pacific bonito (Sarda chiliensis) during steady swimming. J Exp Biol 1 July 2000; 203 (13): 2001–2013. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.203.13.2001
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