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The Heart and the Circulatory System
Glossary



Anterior: adjective referring to front end of an animal or organism.

Aorta: the main systemic artery of the body, emerging directly from the left ventricle.

Arteriole: a small arterial branch that delivers blood directly to a capillary bed.

Artery: a muscular blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart.

Arthropod: Phylum which is bilaterally symmetric segmented animal with tough, chitinous exoskeleton. Phylum contains crustaceans, insects, spiders, centipedes and millipedes.

Atrium: one of the chambers of the heart that receives blood directly from a vein.

Circulatory system: the system of the body responsible for internal transport. Composed of the heart, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, lymph, and the blood.

Closed circulatory system: a type of circulatory system where the blood is contained within a system of vessels and the heart.

Coronary artery: one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Coronary vein: one of the veins that receive blood from the heart muscle and empty directly into the right atrium.

Deoxygenated blood: blood that is low in oxygen concentration.

Dorsal: adjective referring to the top or upper surface of an organism.

Heart: the muscular organ composed of cardiac muscle that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body.

Heart attack: a condition occurring when a section of the heart is deprived of oxygenated blood and dies.

Interstitial fluid: the fluid filling the microscopic spaces between cells of the body.

Mollusca: phylum of bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates. Primarily marine invertebrates, but also includes land snails and slugs.

Open circulatory system: a type of circulatory system where the blood is not contained within a system of vessels and the heart. Blood empties from vessels into sinuses and then returns through other vessels to a "heart.".

Peristalsis: wave-like muscular contractions in the walls of tubular organs, e.g. the alimentary canal. Peristalsis serves to push material contained within the organ along its length.

Posterior: adjective referring to the hind end of an animal.

Pulmonary artery: one of the arteries carrying deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs.

Septum: the wall dividing the two ventricles.

Sinus: a cavity into which blood flows and baths the internal organs in organisms with an open circulatory system.

Spiracle: opening which leads to a trachea in an insect, arachnid, isopod, centipede or millipede.

Vein: one of the blood vessels that carries blood to the heart.

Ventral: adjective referring to the lower surface of an animal or organism.

Ventricle: one of the muscular chambers of the heart that is responsible for pumping blood from the heart into the arteries.

Venule : a small venous branch that carries blood from a capillary bed to a vein.


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