Edward Snelling

Edward Snelling
University of Pretoria | UP · Department of Anatomy & Physiology

PhD

About

60
Publications
11,817
Reads
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753
Citations
Citations since 2016
41 Research Items
589 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
I work at the interface of experimental physiology, biomechanics and biochemistry. I use models from Africa and Australia to study resting and locomotor energetics, respiratory and cardiovascular performance, muscle and skeletal systems, and thermoregulation in mammals, birds, fishes and insects. www.edwardsnelling.com
Additional affiliations
January 2022 - present
University of Pretoria
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2019 - December 2021
University of Pretoria
Position
  • Senior Lecturer
April 2016 - December 2018
University of the Witwatersrand
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
July 2007 - December 2011
University of Adelaide
Field of study
  • Comparative Physiology

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To determine the reliability of peripheral oxygen haemoglobin saturation (SpO2), measured by a Nonin PalmSAT 2500A pulse oximeter with 2000T transflectance probes at four attachment sites (third eyelid, cheek, rectum, and tail), by comparing these measurements to arterial oxygen haemoglobin saturation (SaO2) measured by an AVOXimeter 400...
Article
This meta-study uses phylogenetic scaling models across more than 30 species, spanning five orders of magnitude in body mass, to show that cardiac capillary numerical density and mitochondrial volume density decrease with body mass raised to the -0.07 ± 0.03 and -0.04 ± 0.01 exponents, respectively. Thus, while an average 10 g mammal has a cardiac...
Article
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Birds exhibit wide variation in their use of aquatic environments, on a spectrum from entirely terrestrial, through amphibious, to highly aquatic. Although there are limited empirical data on hearing sensitivity of birds underwater, mounting evidence indicates that diving birds detect and respond to sound underwater, suggesting that some modificati...
Article
We used a high-precision weighing system and flow-through respirometry to quantify cutaneous evaporative water loss rates in woolly sheep (wool thickness, ca. 6.5 cm) and haired goats (coat thickness, ca. 2.5 cm), while simultaneously recording parallel data obtained from (1) a flow-through ventilated capsule, (2) a closed hand-held electronic evap...
Article
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Prominent ontogenetic changes of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) should occur in mammals whose neonatal diet of milk differs from that of adults, and especially in herbivores (as vegetation is particularly distinct from milk), and even more so in foregut fermenters, whose forestomach only becomes functionally relevant with vegetation intake. Due t...
Article
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As an animal grows, the relative sizes of their organs may grow proportionately or disproportionately, depending on ontogenetic changes in function. If organ growth is proportional (isometric), then the exponent of the scaling equation is 1.0. Relative decreases or increases in size result in exponents less than 1 (hypoallometric) or greater than 1...
Article
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Mammals in drylands are facing not only increasing heat loads but also reduced water and food availability as a result of climate change. Insufficient water results in suppression of evaporative cooling and therefore increases in body core temperature on hot days, while lack of food reduces the capacity to maintain body core temperature on cold nig...
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This study assesses the functional morphology of the ankle extensor muscle-tendon units of the springhare Pedetes capensis, an African bipedal hopping rodent, to test for convergent evolution with the Australian bipedal hopping macropods. We dissect and measure the gastrocnemius, soleus, plantaris, and flexor digitorum longus in ten adult springhar...
Article
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Blood flow rate (Q) in relation to arterial lumen radius (ri) is commonly modelled according to theoretical equations and paradigms, including Murray’s Law (Q ∝ ri^3) and da Vinci’s Rule (Q ∝ ri^2). Wall shear stress (τ) is independent of ri with Murray’s Law (τ ∝ ri^0) and decreases with da Vinci’s Rule (τ ∝ ri^-1). These paradigms are tested empi...
Article
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Brain metabolic rate (MR) is linked mainly to the cost of synaptic activity, so may be a better correlate of cognitive ability than brain size alone. Among primates, the sizes of arterial foramina in recent and fossil skulls can be used to evaluate brain blood flow rate, which is proportional to brain MR. We use this approach to calculate flow rate...
Article
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This meta-study investigated the relationships between blood flow rate (Q; cm^3 s^-1), wall shear stress (τw; dyn cm^-2) and lumen radius (ri; cm) in 20 named systemic arteries of nine species of mammals, ranging in mass from 23 g mice to 652 kg cows, at rest. In the dataset, derived from 50 studies, lumen radius varied between 3.7 µm in a cremaste...
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Scaling of the heart across development can reveal the degree to which variation in cardiac morphology depends on body mass. In this study, we assessed the scaling of heart mass, left and right ventricular masses, and ventricular mass ratio, as a function of eviscerated body mass across fetal and postnatal development in Horro sheep Ovis aries (~50...
Article
The purpose of this comment is to show how a method involving just foramen area (mm^2) differs from one that calculates blood flow rate in real units (cm^3 s^-1). We demonstrate that foramen area is not proportional to blood flow rate and is therefore misleading. We compare the two methods using the same data and show that the factors in our equati...
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Chemical immobilization is necessary for the physiological study of large wild animals. However, the immobilizing drugs can adversely affect the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, yielding data that do not accurately represent the normal, resting state. We hypothesise that these adverse effects can be ameliorated by reversing the immobilizing...
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The hearts of smaller mammals tend to operate at higher mass-specific mechanical work rates than those of larger mammals. The ultrastructural characteristics of the heart that allow for such variation in work rate still is largely unknown. We have used perfusion-fixation, transmission electron microscopy and stereology to assess the morphology and...
Article
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The nutrient artery passes through the nutrient foramen on the shaft of the femur and supplies more than one-half of total blood flow to the bone. Assuming that the size of the nutrient foramen correlates with the size of the nutrient artery, an index of blood flow rate (Qi) can be calculated from nutrient foramen dimensions. Interspecific Qi is pr...
Article
1. The accuracy of predictive models (also known as mechanistic or causal models) of animal responses to climate change depends on properly incorporating the principles of heat transfer and thermoregulation into those models. Regrettably, proper incorporation of these principles is not always evident. 2. We have revisited the relevant principles of...
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Flying insects have the highest mass-specific metabolic rate of all animals. Oxygen is supplied to the flight muscles by a combination of diffusion and convection along the internal air-filled tubes of the tracheal system. This study measured maximum flight metabolic rate (FMR) during tethered flight in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria under...
Article
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Bipedal hopping is used by macropods, including rat-kangaroos, wallabies and kangaroos (superfamily Macropodoidea). Interspecific scaling of the ankle extensor muscle-tendon units in the lower hindlimbs of these hopping bipeds shows that peak tendon stress increases disproportionately with body size. Consequently, large kangaroos store and recover...
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Predators play a crucial role in the structure and function of ecosystems. However, the magnitude of this role is often unclear, particularly for large marine predators, as predation rates are difficult to measure directly. If relevant biotic and abiotic parameters can be obtained, then bioenergetics modelling offers an alternative approach to esti...
Data
Data set for fossil hominin carotid canal size. Associated with: Seymour, R.S., Bosiocic, V., Snelling, E.P., 2017. Correction to 'Fossil skulls reveal that blood flow rate to the brain increased faster than brain volume during human evolution'. Royal Society Open Science 4, 170846.
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of human cognition has been inferred from anthropological discoveries and estimates of brain size from fossil skulls. A more direct measure of cognition would be cerebral metabolic rate, which is proportional to cerebral blood flow rate (perfusion). The hominin cerebrum is supplied almost exclusively by the internal carotid arteries....
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This study presents a structure-function analysis of the mammalian left ventricle and examines the performance of the cardiac capillary network, mitochondria, and myofibrils at rest and during simulated heavy exercise. Left ventricular external mechanical work rate was calculated from cardiac output and systemic mean arterial blood pressure in rest...
Article
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Scale sensilla are small tactile mechanosensory organs located on the head scales of many squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). In sea snakes and sea kraits (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae), these scale organs are presumptive scale sensilla that purportedly function as both tactile mechanoreceptors and potentially as hydrodynamic receptors capable of sen...
Article
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Many aquatic insects utilise air bubbles on the surface of their bodies to supply O2 while they dive. The bubbles can simply store O2 , as in the case of an 'air store', or they can act as a physical 'gas gill', extracting O2 from the water. Backswimmers of the genus Anisops augment their air store with O2 from haemoglobin cells located in the abdo...
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The evolution of primates involved increasing body size, brain size and presumably cognitive ability. Cognition is related to neural activity, metabolic rate and rate of blood flow to the cerebral cortex. These parameters are difficult to quantify in living animals. This study shows that it is possible to determine the rate of cortical brain perfus...
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The heart and left ventricle of the marsupial western grey kangaroo Macropus fuliginosus exhibit biphasic allometric growth, whereby a negative shift in the trajectory of cardiac growth occurs at pouch exit. In this study, we used transmission electron microscopy to examine the scaling of left ventricle cardiomyocyte ultrastructure across developme...
Article
Body size is a key determinant of metabolic rate, but logistical constraints have led to a paucity of energetics measurements from large water-breathing animals. As a result, estimating energy requirements of large fish generally relies on extrapolation of metabolic rate from individuals of lower body mass using allometric relationships that are no...
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Interspecific studies of adult mammals show that heart mass (Mh, g) increases in direct proportion to body mass (Mb, kg), such that Mh ∝ Mb^1.00. However, intraspecific studies on heart mass in mammals at different stages of development reveal considerable variation between species, Mh ∝ Mb^0.70–1.00. Part of this variation may arise as a result of...
Article
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Nutrient arteries enter limb bones through discrete foramina on the shafts. They are required for bone remodelling in response to mechanical loading and dynamic forces imposed by locomotion. The cross-sectional area of the nutrient foramen of the femur represents an index of blood flow rate to the shaft and thus provides insight into the animal's l...
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Locusts jump by rapidly releasing energy from cuticular springs built into the hind femur that deform when the femur muscle contracts. This study is the first to examine the effect of temperature on jump energy at each life stage of any orthopteran. Ballistics and high-speed cinematography were used to quantify the energy, distance, and take-off an...
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While a suite of approaches have been developed to describe the scale, rate and spatial structure of exchange among populations, a lack of mechanistic understanding will invariably compromise predictions of population-level responses to ecosystem modification. In this study, we measured the energetics and sustained swimming capacity of giant Austra...
Article
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Flying insects achieve the highest mass-specific aerobic metabolic rates of all animals. However, few studies attempt to maximise the metabolic cost of flight and so many estimates could be sub-maximal, especially where insects have been tethered. To address this issue, oxygen consumption was measured during tethered flight in adult locusts Locusta...
Article
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Weibel and Taylor's theory of symmorphosis predicts that the structural components of the respiratory system are quantitatively adjusted to satisfy, but not exceed, an animal's maximum requirement for oxygen. We tested this in the respiratory system of the adult migratory locust Locusta migratoria by comparing the aerobic capacity of hopping and fl...
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The discontinuous gas exchange cycle (DGC) is a three-phase breathing pattern displayed by many insects at rest. The pattern consists of an extended breath-hold period (closed phase), followed by a sequence of rapid gas exchange pulses (flutter phase), and then a period in which respiratory gases move freely between insect and environment (open pha...
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The discontinuous gas exchange cycle (DGC) is a breathing pattern displayed by many insects, characterized by periodic breath-holding and intermittently low tracheal O2 levels. It has been hypothesized that the adaptive value of DGCs is to reduce oxidative damage, with low tracheal O2 partial pressures (PO2 ∼2–5 kPa) occurring to reduce the product...
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The hemimetabolous migratory locust Locusta migratoria progresses through five instars to the adult, increasing in size from 0.02 to 0.95 g, a 45-fold change. Hopping locomotion occurs at all life stages and is supported by aerobic metabolism and provision of oxygen through the tracheal system. This allometric study investigates the effect of body...