Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/19

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on muscular Motion.

the circulation of the blood is not essential to muscular action; so that the mode of distribution of the blood vessels, and the differences in their size, or number, as applied to muscles, can only be adaptations to some special convenience.

Another prevalent opinion among anatomists, is the infinite extension of vascularity, which is contradicted in a direct manner by comparative researches. The several parts of a quadruped are sensibly more or less vascular, and of different contextures; and, admitting that the varied diameter of the blood vessels disposed in each species of substance, were to be constituted by the gross sensible differences of their larger vessels only, yet, if the ultimate vessels were in all cases equally numerous, then the sole remaining cause of dissimilarity would be in the compacting of the vessels. The vasa vasorum of the larger trunks furnish no reason, excepting that of a loose analogy, for the supposition of vasa vasorum extended without limits. Moreover, the circulating fluids of all animals are composed of water, which gives them fluidity, and of animalised particles of defined configuration and bulk; it follows that the vessels through which such fluids are to pass, must be of sufficient capacity for the size of the particles, and that smaller vessels could only filtrate water devoid of such animal particles: a position repugnant to all the known facts of the circulation of blood, and the animal economy.

The capillary arteries. which terminate in the muscular fibre, must be secretory vessels for depositing the muscular matter, the lymphæducts serving to remove the superfluous extravasated watery fluids, and the decayed substances which are unfit for use.

The lymphæducts are not so numerous as the blood vessels,