Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/35

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23
on muscular Motion.

gage, and no air was suffered to remain in the apparatus. On the slightest action with the muscles of the hand, or fore-arm, the water ascended rapidly in the gage, making librations of six and eight inches length in the barometer tube, on each contraction and relaxation of the muscles.

The remarkable eflfects of crimping fish by immersion in water, after the usual signs of life have disappeared, are worthy attention; and whenever the rigid contractions of death have not taken place, this process may be practised with success. The sea fish destined for crimping are usually struck on the head when caught, which, it is said, protracts the term of this capability; and the muscles which retain this property longest are those about the head. Many transverse sections of the muscles being made, and the fish immersed in cold water, the contractions called crimping take place in about five minutes; but, if the mass be large, it often requires thirty minutes to complete the process.

Two flounders, each weighing 1926 grains, the one being in a state for crimping, the other dead and rigid, were put into water at 48°, each being equally scored with a knife. After half an hour, the crimped fish had gained in weight 53 grains, but the dead fish had lost 7 grains. The specific gravity of the crimped fish was greater than that of the dead fish, but a quantity of air-bubbles adhered to the surfaces of the crimped muscles, which were rubbed off before weighing; this gas was not inflammable.

The specific gravity of the crimped fish--1,105
of the dead fish, after an equal
immersion in water - 1,090.

So that the accession of water specifically lighter than the