arteries have three layers: a smooth inner layer; a strong, muscular layer; and a thin outer layer; connective fibers in artery walls allow for the elasticity needed for the artery to function; arteries are usually larger than veins
veins also have three layers: a thin outer layer, a middle layer and a smooth inner layer; veins are less muscular than arteries and have less elasticity
carry oxygenated blood from heart [except pulmonary arteries]; arteries, with the exception of the pulmonary artery, carry blood away from the heart. They bring blood that is rich in oxygen to the body
carry deoxygenated blood to the heart [except pulmonary veins]; veins, with the exception of the pulmonary vein, carry blood that has been used by body tissues, back to the heart; veins carry blood and waste products to the heart where these will be processed through the lungs and given oxygen again.
can have valves in them [to prevent backflow of blood]
middle layer of artery; made up of smooth muscle fibers and thick layer of elastic connective tissue
Differences between arteries and veins
arteries are larger, more muscular and more elastic than veins; they carry blood that is under pressure from having been pumped out of the heart; veins are under much less pressure, so they are not as strong