1. Heart action of Anodonta anatina (L.) was investigated by recording the electrocardiogram (ECG), heart impedance, and ventricular and pericardial cavity pressure during different aspects of the normal behaviour. The contribution of mechanical and nervous mechanisms in controlling changes in heart action is discussed. 2. Pressure recordings were generally more reliable than the other methods and it is suggested that pericardial pressure pulses indicate the stroke volume output of the ventricle. 3. During spontaneous periods of prolonged shell closure there was an initial small increase in heart activity followed by a large reduction in both heart rate and systolic pressure, indicating that total heart output was considerably reduced. When the shell reopened, heart rate increased very rapidly with an initial overshoot of the normal level; systolic pressure increased more slowly with no overshoot. 4. These major changes in heart activity appear to be associated with respiratory changes and are controlled largely by the nervous regulatory system, but some minor rhythmic variations in the amplitude of heart beat are probably caused by mechanical factors. 5. Characteristic patterns of change in heart action were recorded during burrowing. These appear to result from haemodynamic changes associated with the muscular movements of the digging cycle. Control of the heart by the nervous regulatory system is apparently of much greater importance in relation to respiratory control than in relation to the haemodynamic functioning of the fluid-muscle system in locomotion.

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