Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/31

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on muscular Motion.

The hybernating animals require a longer time in drowning than others. A full grown hedge-hog was submersed in water at 48°, and firmly retained there; air-bubbles began instantly to ascend, and continued during four minutes; the animal was not yet anxious for its liberty. After seven minutes it began to look about, attempting to escape; at ten minutes it rolled itself up, only protruding the snout, which was hastily retracted on being touched with the finger. And even the approach of the finger caused it to retract. After fifteen minutes complete submersion, the animal still remained rolled up, and withdrew its nose on being touched. After remaining thirty minutes under water, the animal was laid upon flannel, in an atmosphere of 62°, with its head inclined downwards; it soon began to relax the sphincter muscle which contracts the skin, slow respirations commenced, and it recovered entirely ,without artificial aid, after two hours. Another hedge-hog submersed in water at 94°, remained quiet until after five minutes; about the eighth minute it stretched itself out, and expired at the tenth. It remained relaxed, and extended, after the cessation of the vital functions; and its muscles were relaxed, contrary to those of the animal drowned in the colder water.

The irritability of the heart is inseparably connected with respiration. Whenever the inhaled gas differs in its properties from the common atmosphere, the muscular and sensible parts of the system exhibit the change: the actions of the heart are altered or suspended, and the whole muscular and sensorial systems partake of the disorder: the temperature of animals, as before intimated, seems altogether dependant on the respiratory functions, although it still remains uncertain in what manner this is effected.

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