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By Roland A. Coulson, Thomas Hernandez

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Extra info for Alligator Metabolism Studies on Chemical Reactions in Vivo

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If muscle glycogen is low for any reason, it is replenished at a cost of about 1 mol of ATP per mol of glucose residue. Considering the energy finally released by oxidation of 1 mol of glucose, the require­ ment for only 1 mol of ATP is trivial.

Restricting the discussion to mammals only, there is a minimum extreme difference in metabolic rates of 500:1 in rest­ ing animals, and 5000:1 if the largest one is resting and the smallest one is running. Using the concept of Km as a constant, how does one explain the 40-fold difference between reaction rates in a 35 g alligator and one of 700 kg? Both have the same substrate con­ centrations and presumably the enzymes are the same, but the small one can catabolize glucose at 40 times the rate of the other.

If the oxy­ gen in the blood at the time of submerging were to be used by the brain only, and if every molecule could be extracted, 0 2 in the blood would supply the brain for 18 min. 6 min, again assum­ ing all of the blood 0 2 was used. (If a man took a deep breath before diving, 0 2 in the lungs would lengthen the time by about 75%). 34% of the 13 1. 031 ml/min. 8 days if 20% were used by the brain. Even 10% of the total oxygen in the blood would last almost a day and large alligators have been known to stay submerged almost that long.

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