The triplet state absorption and phosphorescence of Zn and Pd derivatives of myoglobin were compared. Both metal derivatives exhibit long triplet state lifetimes at room temperature, but whereas the Pd derivative showed exponential decay and an isosbestic point in the transient absorption spectra, the decay of the Zn derivative was nonsingle exponential and the transient absorption spectra showed evidence of more than one excited state species. No difference was seen in triplet quenching by oxygen for either derivative, indicating that differences in the polypeptide chain between the two derivatives are not large enough to affect oxygen penetrability. Quenching was also observed by anthraquinone sulfonate. In this case, the possibility of long-range transfer by an exchange mechanism is considered.