Measurements were made on locomotor performance (burst run and swim speed, run and swim endurance), morphology (body, tail, and hindlimb length, body mass), and skeletal muscle mechanics (isometric: twitch and tetanic tension, rates of force development and relaxation; isotonic: maximal velocity of shortening and power output) in a size range of individual salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum) at 10 and 20 degrees C. The size dependence of each factor was determined, and the interindividual correlations among factors were measured after removal of size effects. Locomotor performance is positively related to body size: larger animals are faster and have higher endurance. Isometric tensions (standardized for muscle cross-sectional area) and isotonic properties are mass independent; rates of isometric force development and relaxation are negatively related to body mass. Locomotor performance capacities are not intercorrelated among individuals. Isometric force and rates of force development are highly intercorrelated as are maximal shortening velocity and power output. Several statistical techniques failed to uncover correlations among sets of variables (performance, morphology, muscle mechanics): neither fast individuals nor individuals with high endurance necessarily have relatively fast muscles or long limbs or tails after the effects of body size have been removed.
Copyright 1989 the American Physiological Society