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Mammal Circulatory System – Some Info

Posted by rafael on September 13, 2012 in Health

Nature is marvelous and complex; no one will ever doubt it. Regardless of what you are looking at, complex and intricate system can be seen throughout the entire flora and fauna in this blessed planet.  One of the most wonderful examples of those complex systems is the circulatory system of any mammal. Mammals are a type of animal that has some interesting features, one of which is their famous warm blood. In order to sustain their adaptable and flexible lifestyle –after all we have already seen mammal species in every landscape and environment in the world, from tundra to tropic – they needed to control their internal temperature and metabolism. And to do that they need an efficient circulatory system.

Mammals are said to have the most complex of all the circulatory system in the world. This helps the mammals achieve their so famous warm blood. This is done with an intricate and complex system of veins, arteries, blood and several organs. But how complex is it? Well, the circulatory system has several parts and we could spend a whole lifetime dissecting and studying it and we would not be able to study half of it. Actually, if you wish, you can specialize in just studying the heart, for example, and still have lots to study with just one life.

To facilitate our life we will just talk about the most important part in the simplest manner possible. The complexity of life sometimes requires a complexity of language to meet its high standards, but we will try to leave any unnecessary and mostly complicated scientific words and terms. There are so many different species of animals and plant in the world that it seems almost crazy to try to know them all. But we can at least study most of them and try to understand how this greatness happens.

Science Labels 

To help us understand all the differences and similarities of all life on Earth, scientists developed a full range of terms and names of even the smallest part of any system. Their ideal is to explain and predict what happen in the natural world so we can be more in control of our fate.  And after centuries and even millennia of hard work we now have a pretty comprehensive understand of how many systems in almost the entire animal kingdom in the world works, including the circulatory system of mammals.

The specific part of any system can vary, but every system is composed of independent part that working together can create or achieve some objective. In the case of the circulatory system of any mammal that objective is to deliver oxygen to cells that need it and to take out what the cells doesn’t need. This exchange happens only in the smallest part of the circulatory system: the capillaries. These are ramifications that sprung out of the arteries and veins, which in turn compose most of the circulatory system. Arteries and veins are the vessels where the blood is transmitted from the lungs, full of precious oxygen, into the needy cells, and back to the lungs with other chemicals.

Circulatory systems have been evolving for millions of years now and we can actually see how this evolution took place if we study other animals, like fish and frogs. We can spot many differences from the complex structure that is the mammal’s circulatory system, but there are also some similarities. The scope of this article does not allow us to dig deeper into these differences and similarities, but is important to know that what we are seeing now is actually only the last, but not final, step from a long, long journey.

Important For Life

The importance of a circulatory system for any animal is self-evident. But this system is even more important for mammals as they use it in order to maintain their body temperature regulated. But how, you are certainly asking. The magic of the circulatory systems is based on all the parts coordinating to work as one, even though the parts are very much specialized.

The components in the circulatory system of any mammal are always those that we said in one of the previous paragraph: blood, a number of vessels that transport this blood, a pump to push the blood through the vessels and finally exchange organs that make the switch of important substance between the internal and external environment. The primary function of the circulatory system is to deliver blood full of oxygen for every cell in the body of a mammal. This blood is collected and transported by veins into the right side of the heart, where it will find its way to the lungs.

In the lungs the blood collects the precious oxygen. With its blood cells full of oxygen this blood goes back to the heart, only that time it goes into the left side, and there it gets pumped into the rest of the body through the biggest artery of a mammal body, the aorta.  This double circuit is one of the most fabulous and intricate system inside any warm blood animal and it works entirely involuntary.

This complex system works involuntary and normally smooth as anyone can attest. But it can also need some help when things go awry. One of the most important parts of the circulatory system is the pump that pushes the blood into every organ in the mammal’s body. When the pump, or heart as some like to call it, does not receive its normal dose of blood it stop pumping and then you got a heart attack.

The heart attack is a medical condition of insufficiency of blood getting into the heart tissue due to limited space in the artery and veins. Another similar fate happens if any artery or vein is clogged up mostly by fat.  Any doctor will tell you more about the dangerous of an unhealthy alimentation for your circulatory system. And as we have discussed in this article, the circulatory system is important for any mammal, and of course it is important for us, human beings.

It is believed that mammals first appeared in the Jurassic period which is around 200 million years ago. They are said to have evolved from a reptile group, therapsids. Over time, they diverged in to diverse forms with different habitats and adaptations. One of the oldest mammals groups alive today is monotremes, mammals that lay eggs. The most diverse group is rodents having around 1700 species. Other mammal groups with diverse number of species are primates, marsupials, bats and insectivores. Aardvark, lemurs, manatees and dugongs include fewest species.

Mammal Circulatory System Some Info

Mammal Circulatory System Some Info

One of the important adaption of mammals is their efficient and effective circulatory system. Like any vertebrate, they have a heart that undergoes repeated contractions in order to distribute blood all over the body through blood vessels. The blood contains oxygen which is required for the proper functioning of body cells. All the nutrients from food are absorbed into blood which is then supplied to the cells. It also functions in removing toxins and chemicals in the body.

Heart consists of chambers which differ for different animal groups. In general, the number of chambers ranges from two to four. The types of chambers are two, namely atria and ventricles. The impure blood reaches the heart through atria and the ventricles carry pure blood from the heart to different parts of the body. Mammals have four chambered heart. It consists of two atria and two ventricles. All other vertebrates like reptiles and amphibians have two chambered or three chambered heart.

A four chambered structure separates the oxygenated blood and deoxygenated blood, thereby preventing the mixing up of pure and impure blood. This enhances a sustained growth and helps in regulating their body temperature making the mammal circulatory system efficient. There is no wonder that mammals are a more advanced group in the animal Kingdom.

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