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Comparative histology of muscle in free ranging cetaceans: shallow versus deep diving species
Sierra, E.; Fernández, A.; Espinosa de los Monteros, A.; Díaz-Delgado, J.; Bernaldo de Quirós, Y.; García-Álvarez, N.; Arbelo, M.; Herráez, P. (2015). Comparative histology of muscle in free ranging cetaceans: shallow versus deep diving species. NPG Scientific Reports 5(15909 ): 13 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Sierra, E.
  • Fernández, A.
  • Espinosa de los Monteros, A.
  • Díaz-Delgado, J.
  • Bernaldo de Quirós, Y.
  • García-Álvarez, N.
  • Arbelo, M.
  • Herráez, P.

    Different marine mammal species exhibit a wide range of diving behaviour based on their breath-hold diving capabilities. They are classically categorized as long duration, deep-diving and short duration, shallow-diving species. These abilities are likely to be related to the muscle characteristics of each species. Despite the increasing number of publications on muscle profile in different cetacean species, very little information is currently available concerning the characteristics of other muscle components in these species. In this study, we examined skeletal muscle fiber type, fiber size (cross sectional area and lesser diameter), intramuscular substrates, and perimysium-related structures, by retrospective study in 146 stranded cetaceans involving 15 different species. Additionally, we investigated diving profile-specific histological features. Our results suggest that deep diving species have higher amount of intramyocyte lipid droplets, and evidence higher percentage of intramuscular adipose tissue, and larger fibre sizes in this group of animals.

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