We report on the existence of a myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform with unique structural properties in extraocular (EO) muscles. Differences in MHC composition are apparent using a polyclonal antibody prepared against myosin isolated from bovine EO muscle myosin. In enzyme immunoassays and western blotting experiments, this anti-EO myosin antibody reacted specifically with the heavy chains of EO muscle myosin and not with the heavy chains of other myosins. The distribution of this new MHC isoform in the globe rotating muscles from different mammalian species was analysed using a panel of specific anti-myosin antibodies and comparing the histochemical myosin ATPase profile of muscle fibres with their isomyosin content. Most fibres which display a type 2 ATPase reaction pattern were selectively labelled by anti-EO antibodies. A few type 2 fibres were found to react with both anti-EO and anti-2A myosin antibodies and others, located almost exclusively in the orbital layers, reacted with anti-foetals as well as anti-EO antibodies. The presence of a distinct form of myosin in EO muscle fibres is probably related to the particular functional characteristics of these muscles, which are known to be exceptionally fast-contracting but display a very low tension output.