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structures and functions of the rat circulatory system


keeps the heart contained in the chest cavity, prevents the heart from over expanding when blood volume increases and limits heart motion


driving force behind the entire circulatory system

aortic arch

carries blood from the dorsal blood vessel to the ventral blood vessel


carries and distributes oxygen rich blood to all arteries

common carotid arteries

supply oxygenated and nutrient-filled blood to the head and neck regions of the body

right and left auricle

R: receives blood returning to the heart from the superior and inferior venae cavae
L: receives blood returning to the heart from the pulmonary veins

right and left ventricle

R: receives blood from the right atrium and pumps it to the main pulmonary artery
L: Receives blood from the left atrium and pumps it to the aorta

right and left cranial vena cava

superior: brings de-oxygenated blood from the head, neck, arm, and chest regions of the body to the right atrium
inferior: brings de-oxygenated blood from the lower body regions (legs, back, abdomen, and pelvis) to the right atrium

pulmonary trunk

channels blood form the right ventricle through the right and left pulmonary arteries to the lungs

hepatic portal vein

vessel in the abdominal cavity that drains blood from the gastrointestinal tract and spleen to capillary beds in the liver

renal vein

transports blood out of the kidney

iliolumbar artery and vein

leads from the lower back; drains blood from the abdominal cavity and lower extremities of the body

How is a portal system different from a normal cirulatory sytem circuit?

In a portal system, capillar beds pool into another capillary bed through veins without going to the heart first, whereas the circulatory system circuit goes to the heart first.

What is the purpose of veins?

Veins drain blood from the tissues and return it to the heart

What is the purpose of arteries?

Arteries supply blood to the tissues

How are pulmonary veins and arteries any different than systemic arteries?

Pulmonary veins and arteries travel between the heart and lungs while systemic arteries travel from the heart to the rest of the body

In terrestrial vertebrates, what is the advantage of having the surfaces for oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange embedded deep in lung tissue (think moisture)?

Moisture helps to increase the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide, while also protecting the exchange


prevents collapse as organism inhales; leads from the nasopharynx through the larynx and into the lungs

left and right bronchus

carry air into and out of the lungs

left and right lung

store the body's oxygen supply and works to push air out and around the body


allows the thoracic cavity to expand and compress, drawing in fresh air with each expansion and expelling stale air with each compression

What is the purpose of the epiglottis?

The epiglottis permits air flow through to the larynx

What occurs in alveoli?

Oxygen is picked up by the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is release into the lungs to be expelled from the body through exhalation

How does the diaphragm function to pull air into and out of the lungs?

As the diaphragm contracts, fresh air is drawn in, and as the diaphragm relaxes, stale air is expelled

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