First Advisor

Stanley Hillman

Date of Publication

Fall 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology






Amphibians -- Cardiovascular system -- Evolution, Heart -- Ventricles, Cardiovascular system -- Evolution



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 36 p.) : ill. (some col.)


This study used an in situ heart preparation to analyze the power and work of spontaneously beating hearts of four anurans (R. marina, L. catesbeianus, X. laevis, P. edulis) and three urodeles (N. maculosus, A. tigrinum, A. tridactylum) in order to elucidate the meaning of relative ventricle mass (RVM) in terms of specific cardiac performance variables. This study also tests two hypotheses: 1) the ventricles of terrestrial species (R. marina, P. edulis, A. tigrinum) of amphibians are capable of greater maximum power outputs (Pmax) compared to aquatic species (X. laevis, A. tridactylum, N. maculosus, L. catesbeianus) and, 2) the ventricles of Anuran species (R. marina, P. edulis, L. catesbeianus, X. laevis) are capable of greater maximum power output compared to aquatic species (A. tigrinum, A. tridactylum, N. maculosus). The data supported both hypotheses. RVM was significantly correlated with Pmax, stroke volume, cardiac output, afterload at Pmax, and preload at Pmax. Preload at Pmax and afterload at Pmax also correlated very closely with each other, suggesting that an increase blood volume and/or increased modulation of sympathetic tone may influence interspecific variation RVM and may have played a role in supporting higher rates of metabolism, as well as dealing with hypovolemic stresses of life on land.


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