Minimal cost per twitch in rattlesnake tall muscle

Kevin E. Conley, Stan L Lindstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

SOUND production is one of the most energetically costly activities in animals. Minimizing contraction costs is one means of achieving the high activation rates necessary for sound production (20-550Hz) (refs 1-3) without exceeding energy supplies. Rattlesnakes produce a sustained, high-frequency warning sound by extremely rapid contraction of their tailshaker muscles (2090 Hz) (refs 4, 5). The ATP cost per twitch is only 0.015 μmol ATP per g muscle per twitch during rattling, as measured by in vivo magnetic resonance. The reduced volume density of myofibre (32%) in tailshaker muscle is consistent with contraction cost being minimized (crossbridge cycling), in contrast to the contractile costs of vertebrate locomotory and asynchronous insect flight muscle. Thus tailshaker muscle is an example of sound-producing muscle designed for 'high frequency, minimal cost'. The high rates of rattling are achieved by minimizing contractile use of ATP, which reduces the cost per twitch to among the lowest found for striated muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-72
Number of pages2
JournalNature
Volume383
Issue number6595
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 1996

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Crotalus
Costs and Cost Analysis
Muscles
Adenosine Triphosphate
Striated Muscle
Insects
Vertebrates
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Minimal cost per twitch in rattlesnake tall muscle. / Conley, Kevin E.; Lindstedt, Stan L.

In: Nature, Vol. 383, No. 6595, 05.09.1996, p. 71-72.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Conley, Kevin E. ; Lindstedt, Stan L. / Minimal cost per twitch in rattlesnake tall muscle. In: Nature. 1996 ; Vol. 383, No. 6595. pp. 71-72.
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