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Energy metabolism in the locomotor muscles of the common murre (Uria aalge) and the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica)
Davis, M.B., & Guderley, H. (1987) The Auk 104(4):733-739
To compare the metabolic systems that support the combination of flying and diving with those used to support burst flying and sustained flying, myoglobin concentrations and maximum enzyme activities were determined for selected enzymes of glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and amino acid metabolism in the pectoral, supracoracoideus, and sartorius muscles of the Common Murre (Uria aalge), Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), Rock Dove (Columba livia; hereafter "pigeon"), and Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Glycolytic enzyme levels in the flight muscles were lower in the murre and the puffin than in the pheasant, while both glycolytic and Krebs-cycle enzyme levels resembled those in the pigeon. We believe puffins and murres do not rely extensively on anaerobic glycolysis during diving. In concordance with a role in oxygen storage for diving, the levels of myoglobin in the flight muscles of murres and puffins were higher than those in pigeons or pheasants. They were lower than published values for penguins, however. In contrast to the trends for pigeon and pheasant muscles, the alcid sartorius muscles had a considerably lower aerobic orientation than the flight muscle.


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