The Transport System

Topics 6.2

Overview of transport in animals

The transport system is required by any animal that is too large for nutrients to reach all cells by diffusion alone. It is made up of the heart, blood vessels (ie., arteries, capillaries and veins) and blood. The main function of the transport system is to allow for the move nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, hormones, antibodies, urea and heat within the blood plasma throughout the body. It brings the necessary resources to the cells by way of the capillaries which exchange materials with the interstitial fluid inturn allowing diffusion to occur over short distances. The transport system allows the body to maintain a constant internal environment (homeostasis). Figure 1 below illustrates the two main components of the blood.

6.2.1 & 6.2.2: The Human Heart

Shown below is the structure of the human heart. Place your mouse over the diagram to see an xray of the chest cavity. It shows how the heart is positioned just off-left center in the chest and is rotated on an angle. Also note on the drawing that the coronary arteries (red) come off the aorta and are located on the exterior surface of the heart. These arteries supply heart muscle with oxygen and nutrients and ,therefore, the heart does not receive any oxygen or nutrients from the blood that moves through the atria and the ventricles.

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Structure of the heart
heart vessels link heart vessels animation

6.2.3 & 6.2.4: Control and Action of the heart

heart electrical system link heart electrical system animation
Control and Action of the heart
heart action link heart action animation

Figure 1: Control Summary

The control of the heartbeat in terms of myogenic muscle contraction, the role of the pacemaker, nerves, the medulla of the brain and epinephrine (adrenaline) is outlined below.

Heart control

6.2.5: Comparing Arteries, Capillaries and Veins

Shown below are the different blood vessels found throughout the body. Each blood vessel has a specific characteristics which allow it to carry out its specific function. Using the descriptions to the right of the table, your textbook and the Internet complete the table. Remember Form follows Function.

Double click on the heart to show the descriptions and click on heart to hide the descriptions.

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6.2.6 & 6.2.7: Composition of the Blood

Blood Composition

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