Giant nerve fibers in annelids
Petersen, Mary Elizabeth
MEPetersen at zmuc.ku.dk
Fri Mar 29 17:01:04 EST 2002
Try searching under Myxicola. I think this sabellid is the one with the
giant fibers. Take a look at the Ward & Fauchald 1997 Polychaete
Bibliography available at Resources (see below). Search for "myxicola" alone
or "myxicola and giant fibers" under Notes. (You may have to try the British
spelling (fibres) also!
Mary E. Petersen
Tel +45-35 32 10 67 - Fax +45-35 32 10 10
E-mail: mepetersen at zmuc.ku.dk
From: Geoff Read [mailto:g.read at niwa.cri.nz]
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 10:45 PM
To: annelida at net.bio.net
Subject: Re: Giant nerve fibers in annelids
> I ran across information in the second edition (1977) of Edwards and
> Lofty's Biology of earthworms (p. 105) that I think may be a typo.
> They say that giant nerve fibers in annelids (I assume Lumbricus
> terrestris) transmit impulses at 600 meters per second.
In Stephenson (1930) "The Oligochaeta" the rate is given as 1.5 metres
per second for earthworms. In Barrington (1967) "Invertebrate structure
& function" the earthworm rate is 17 to 25 m/sec for the median giant
fibre. Laverack (1963) "The physiology of earthworms" has the same
figure and gives three journal sources for the original works done in the
1930's - 40's.
The annelid speed king is more likely to be a polychaete, being altogether
rather more quick-witted and alert creatures that like to get out of the way
before being chomped, but I do not have anything to hand that will tell us
whether 600 m/s is conceivable and not a lapsus as one might suspect.
Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>
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