Rigor mortis is caused by a chemical change in the muscles after death. Calcium ions move from areas of high to low concentration, causing a stiffening in the body. Because the body is dead, it can’t change the location of these ions and it stays in these areas until the muscles break down.
Skeletal muscles contract but cannot relax after an animal or person dies. The stiffness of the body this causes is referred to as rigor mortis and lasts for approimately 72 hours, depending on the temperature and other conditions surrounding the body.
To be a bit more specific about the calcium ions’ effect on muscles: In living muscle cells, calcium ions flow into muscle cells to connect actin and myosin – fibers that, together, contract muscles. In order to release, however, muscles need the energy molecule ATP, expelling calcium ions from the muscle cell, and releasing the connected fibers. Because ATP reserves are quickly depleted after death, the muscles remain contracted – with no way to release the calcium ions – until the muscle tissue begins to decompose.
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC