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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
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.