The migrating myoelectric complex (MMC) is demonstrated in four avian species: three gallinaceous birds (Gallus, Phasianus, Coturnix) and an owl (Strix). The complex in birds is strikingly similar to the MMC that is known in mammalian species. It has the same basic pattern of quiescence, followed by a period of irregular spike activity, then a period of intense regular spike activity, and finally a return to quiescence. The frequency and duration of avian MMCs are similar to those of mammals, but the propagation velocity and slow-wave frequency are slower. Granivorous birds (Gallus, Phasianus) and carnivores (Strix) exhibit the same basic motility patterns whether in the fed or fasted states. Interspecific differences occur, however, in the details of frequency, propagation velocity, duration, and slow-wave frequency. The closely related galliforms (chickens, pheasants) are more similar to each other in MMC characteristics than either is to the more distantly related owls.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society