Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/37

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on muscular Motion.

treatment. The same experiment was made on the muscular fibres of lamb and beef, twelve hours after the animals had been killed, with the like results. Neither vinegar, nor water saturated with muriate of soda, nor strong ardent spirit, nor olive oil, had any such effect upon the muscular fibres.

The amphibia, and coleopterous insects, become torpid at 34°. At 36° they move slowly, and with difficulty; and, at a lower temperature their muscles cease to be irritable. The muscles of warm-blooded animals are similarly affected by cold.

The hinder limbs of a frog were skinned and exposed to cold at 30°, and the muscles were kept frozen for eight hours, but on thawing them, they were perfectly irritable.

The same process was employed in the temperature of 20°, and the muscles kept frozen for twelve hours, but that did not destroy the irritability.

In the heat of 100°, the muscles of cold-blooded animals fall into the contractions of death; and at 110°, all those of warm blood, as far as these experiments have been extended. The muscles of warm-blooded animals, which always contain more red particles in their substance than those of cold blood, are sooner deprived of their irritability, even although their relative temperatures are preserved; and respiration in the former tribe is more essential to life than in the latter.

Many substances accelerate the cessation of irritability in muscles when applied to their naked fibrils, such as all the narcotic vegetable poisons, muriate of soda, and the bile of animals; but they do not produce any other apparent change in muscles, than that of the last contraction. Discharges of electricity passed through muscles, destroy their irritability, but leave them apparently inflated with small bubbles of gas;

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