Blood samples were taken from 8 Antarctic Notothenioids (e.g. Pagothenia borchgrevinki, Trematomus hansoni, T. centronotus, T. bernacchii, T. newnesi, Dissostichus mawsoni) and one species each of the Bathydraconidae, Harpagiferidae and Zoarcidae (Gymnodraco acuticeps) and from the giant isopod Glyptonotus and examined with regard to their haematology and erythrocyte function to better understand ... metabolic control in Antarctic ectotherms. Stained blood smears were made from most specimens and described.
Measurements were made on:
1) Haemoglobin concentration in whole blood (Hb in grams per litre),
2) Packed cell colume (litres of cells per liter whole blood),
3) Mean cell haemoglobin concentration (grams Hb per litre of cells),
4) White blood cell count (in cells per liter of whole blood),
5) Red blood cell count (in cells per liter of blood),
6) Mean cell haemoglobin (amount of Hb per cell in picograms) and,
7) Mean cell volume (in femtoliters or cubic microns).
92 blood samples were processed. In addition, haemolysates were prepared for electrophoresis and for measurement of oxygen affinity. In addition, chromosome counts were made on colchicine treated specimens of testis, gill, ovary and gut from 6 species of fish (all of the above except T. newnesi). The control of haematocrit was investigated more extensively in the large cod, D. mawsoni by examining the effects of stress on haematocrit. Several fish were cannulated via the efferent branchial artery to establish base line haematocrits and then the fish were stressed and haematocrit was monitored. Fish were also induced into hypotension without exercise in order to see whether pressure directly mediated haematocrit adjustments. Haemoglobins isolated from various species of fishes on location were purified and their oxygen binding characteristics examined.