Circulatory systems
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Circulatory systems. Biology 2: Form and Function. Circulation. Transport of Nutrients Metabolic wastes Metabolic gases Various elements of immunological system Hormonal signals Heat energy. The evolution of circulation in animals.

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Circulatory systems

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Circulatory systems

Biology 2: Form and Function


  • Transport of

    • Nutrients

    • Metabolic wastes

    • Metabolic gases

    • Various elements of immunological system

    • Hormonal signals

    • Heat energy

The evolution of circulation in animals

  • Primitive animals rely upon diffusion as a mechanism of transport (Porifera, Cnidaria)

  • Diffusion becomes inefficient over distances of 2–3 cells (limits size of Platyhelminthes)

  • Development of a pseudocoelom provided primitive circulatory sac with fluid

  • Eucoelomates (Mollusca onwards) developed true circulatory systems

Open and Closed Circulation

  • Open systems (Mollusca, Arthropoda) bathe organs in haemolymph. organs held in secondary spaces (sinuses) that may join together to form haemocoel

  • Closed systems contain circulatory fluid (blood) in a vascular system that feeds individual organs

  • Both open and closed systems require a pump (heart)


  • Hearts have evolved from two, to three, to four chambered systems

  • Human heart powers dual circuit (pulmonary and systemic)

  • EKG reflects complex waveform (systole / diastole)

A trip inside the heart...

The cardiovascular network

Blood contains...

  • Plasma (dissolved metabolites, wastes, hormones, ions, proteins)

  • Red blood cells (Erythrocytes = O2/CO2 transport)

  • White blood cells:

    • Neutrophils (immune defense)

    • Eosinophils (parasite defense)

    • Basophils (inflammatory response)

    • Monocytes (immune surveillance)

    • B-Lymphocytes (antibody production)

    • T-Lymphocytes (cellular immune response)

    • Platelets (blood clotting)

White blood cells have an important role in our immune system

The EKG cycle

The PQRST complex

Abnormal EKGs

The Lymphatic system

  • Collects fluids and particles in the interstitial fluid primarily the result of capillary leakages

  • Filters fluid at Lymph Nodes, removing foreign substances

  • Foreign substances are subsequently destroyed by white blood cell activity

So what about plants?

  • With developmental complexity came a need for increased circulatory efficiency (cf. Bryophytes versus gymnoperms)

  • Development of vascular tissue in ferns and upwards

  • Presence of vascular tissue, together with development of stronger fibrous support, allowed plants to grow taller and compete for sunlight

Types of transportation

  • Diffusion (small scale only)

  • Root pressure

  • Transpiration

  • In vascular plants, use of

    • Xylem (water and minerals)

    • Phloem (sugars)

Mass Flow (3)

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