Bluefin tuna warm their viscera during digestion

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Title Bluefin tuna warm their viscera during digestion
Author(s) F. G. Carey, J. W. Kanwisher, E. D. Stevens
Journal Journal of Experimental Biology
Date 1984
Volume 109
Issue
Start page 1
End page 20
Abstract Acoustic telemetry showed that stomach temperature from large bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, held in an impoundment, changed during feeding. The stomach cooled rapidly on ingesting cold food. It then warmed to a maximum of 10° to 15°C above water temperature over a period of 12 to 20 h. Temperature decreased slowly over the next 20 to 30 h to a final state where it remained 3° to 6° above water temperature. The viscera were thermally isolated. Conductive heat losses were reduced by an overlying gas bladder and by the thick fatty muscle of the body wall. Convective heat losses were prevented by heat exchangers in the circulation. The temperature rise can be accounted for by heat released in the hydrolytic processes of digestion and by an increase in metabolic rate. The increased temperatures should speed digestion and allow the tuna to feed frequently when food is abundant.
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