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Oxygen consumption, crawling speeds, and cost of transport in four mediterranean intertidal gastropods


  1. 1.

    Crawling speed and oxygen consumption were simultaneously measured in two low shore and two high shore Mediterranean gastropods. In both air and sea water, the rate of oxygen consumption increases linearly with crawling speed at both 20 and 30 °C (Figs. 1 and 2). The transition from inactivity to activity involves an increase in oxygen consumption of up to 50% independent of crawling speed. Increases in oxygen consumption with activity of up to 300% of the inactive rate are reported in air and sea water. Active rates of oxygen consumption are temperature dependent in air and water (Fig. 3).

  2. 2.

    The total and net aerobic expenditure required to cover a unit of distance (cost of transport) decline with increasing speed and are 100% higher in air than in sea water (Fig. 5). The total cost of transport per unit weight declines as body size increases (Fig. 6).

  3. 3.

    Some animals on the shore were moving at speeds suggesting near minimum total cost of transport. Calculations of energetic cost of crawling give values which are higher than those from running invertebrates and vertebrates (Fig. 7).

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Houlihan, D.F., Innes, A.J. Oxygen consumption, crawling speeds, and cost of transport in four mediterranean intertidal gastropods. J Comp Physiol B 147, 113–121 (1982).

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  • Oxygen
  • Body Size
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