MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: How animals circulatory systems (open/closed) are suited to their lifestyle

Date: Wed Aug 18 14:53:29 1999
Posted By: June M. Wingert , RM(NRM), Research Associate, Comparative Pathology Department, Baylor College of Medicine
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 934610651.Gb


This is a good question , and one that has been studied quite extensively, briefly put however, with the closed circulatory system, blood remains in the blood vessels, with the open circulatory system, blood is pumped into the body spaces (sinuses) .

All vertebrates have a closed circulatory system , however there are some invertebrates that also have a closed circulatory system. For example, the earthworm has a closed circulatory system consisting of a heart with 5 aortic arches and a dorsal blood vessel, the basic function is to transport digested nutrients to the cells. A grasshopper on the other hand has an open circulatory system consisting of a heart, aorta, and sinuses.

One of the advantages of the open circulatory system concerns body temperature. In many adult insects the open circulatory system is specialized and operates in a highly sophisticated manner to regulate body temperature. The nature of insect circulation provides a natural means for dissipating heat., for example, during flight. The bumblebee is such an insect. Adult bees exhibit metabolic rates exceeding twice that of a hummingbird. Their flight ability is only limited by fuel supply and temperature.

For a more information concerning circulation you can check out Insect Physiology Online.

This site discusses the general characteristics of closed and open circulatory systems and summarizes these differences.

Thank you for taking the time to send in a question to the MadSci network

June Wingert

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