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Muscle Structure and Contraction — Vertebrate Model

Flash (SWF) Format


For copies of this video to use in lectures or presentations:


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Flash Format*


Zip File Size - 4.7 MB

(Videos are .swf format)

WMV Format **


Zip File Size -35 MB

(Suitable for PowerPoint)

Apple Quicktime***


Zip File Size -36 MB

(Videos are .mov format)

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*Flash format (.swf) files have full interactivity (start, stop, search forward/back) and scenes are linked and play automatically using the free Flash plug-in from Adobe.

**WMV format scenes do not have interactivity or link between scenes. They are suitable for use in PowerPoint slides. The .wmv format plays in the PC Media Player which allows forward-back search within the scene.

***Quicktime files (.mov) do not have interactivity and scenes are not linked, but the Quicktime player allows foward/back search within a scene.

- Description -

This animation uses the human bicep muscle as a model to illustrate the structure and contraction of striated muscles from the tissue to the molecular levels for vertebrate animals.  It shows how the band pattern of sarcomeres reflects their actin-myosin arrangement, and how the biochemical interactions of actin and myosin result in sliding filaments for muscle contraction.

This animation was developed for educators interested in teaching this topic from a vertebrate perspective. Since the structures and contraction mechanisms for striated muscles are similar in both vertebrates and invertebrates, all scenes for this animation and for the grasshopper femur muscle animation are identical, except for use of the human bicep-muscle model in scene 2 and the descriptions for innervation in scene 6.

Total Runtime: approx. 7 min; 7 scenes

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