Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Cardiac and respiratory responses to hypoxia in the crab, Cancer magister (Dana) Public Deposited

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  • Heart rates and amplitudes were measured for both intact animals (in situ) and isolated hearts (in vitro) of the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, exposed to low levels in oxygen. Recordings were also made of gill ventilation rate by measuring the frequency of scaphognathite (gill bailer) beats. Both the in vitro heart and the in situ heart beat showed a marked decrease in amplitude and frequency under hypoxic stress. Upon the return of oxygen to the environment, the recovery of the hearts of the intact animals showed very short latent periods while the recovery of the isolated hearts was very slow. The response of the scaphognathites to hypoxia was biphasic. Upon the initial decrease in oxygen concentration, they showed an increase in beating frequency; with continued lowering of the oxygen concentration, the rate fell off considerably. In analysing the results it was concluded that such a decrease in heart rate could be adaptive in that it could result in a lowered energy demand at low oxygen concentrations. The rapid recovery of the in situ hearts may indicate the presence of a receptor for oxygen.
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