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The focus of this volume is an annotated translation of the classic work by J. Müller and D.F. Eschricht on the visceral anatomy of the bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, published in 1835. This text, with its outstanding figures, is to this day the definitive work on the anatomy of the bluefin viscera and especially on the circulation to and from the viscera. In addition, the text is historically important in that it represents the first comprehensive description of visceral relia mirabilia in a fish. In this work, Eschricht & Müller meticulously elucidate the pattern of blood flow to, within, and from the viscera. In addition they describe and speculate about the function of such "peculiar" anatomical structures such as: the visceral relia mirabilia, the "radiating liver vessels" and the unusually large visceral nerves seen in this species. We have annotated the translation in order to connect the findings of Eschricht & Müller with our current understanding of warm fishes. Eschricht & Müller published a supplement to the tuna article in which they describe the visceral anatomy of the common thresher shark, Alopias vulpinus. We provide an annotated translation of this text as well. The main point of the supplement is that the vascular arrangement of the thresher viscera is completely analogous to that in T. thynnus, and distinct from that found in the other warm sharks, such as Lamna nasus, implying that endothermy has evolved independently at least twice within elasmobranchs. Finally, to round out the historical aspect of this volume, we include two papers and their abstracts by John Davy, who is credited with the first body temperature measurements of warm fishes. Eschricht & Müller were aware of Davy's measurements and discuss them briefly in their paper on tuna visceral anatomy. We also include plates from the 1923 paper by Kishinouye and sorne color photographs of the visceral relia from our dissections. The last two sections of this volume are facsimiles of the two texts by Eschricht & Müller as they appeared in their original form.


This article was originally published in Guelph Ichthyology Reviews, volume 4, in 1992.


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