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Elevated red myotomal muscle temperatures in the most basal tuna species, Allothunnus fallai

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The present study tested the hypothesis that Allothunnus fallai can elevate its slow-oxidative red myotomal muscle (RM) temperature. Measurements on 30 A. fallai (750–850 mm fork length) captured by hook and line off the coast of southern New Zealand revealed that RM temperatures are elevated by mean ±s.d. 8·1 ± 1·3° C (range 6·7–10·0° C) above the mean ±s.d. ambient sea surface temperature 15·3 ± 0·8° C (range 14·3 to 16·4° C). These data provide evidence that the vascular modifications to the central circulation of A. fallai act as a counter-current heat exchanger and that RM heat conservation is a character state present in all extant tuna species.

Keywords: Allothunnus; Scombridae; endothermy; muscle; temperature; tuna

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Science, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834-6850, U.S.A. 2: Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA 02747, U.S.A. 3: Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine and Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0204, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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