Animals with Closed Circulatory Systems

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  • 0:00 Types of Circulatory Systems
  • 0:44 Open Circulatory System
  • 1:54 Closed Circulatory System
  • 2:44 Animals with Closed…
  • 4:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Margaret Cunningham

Margaret has taught many Biology and Environmental Science courses and has Master's degrees in Environmental Science and Education.

In this lesson, you will explore the closed circulatory system. We'll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this system, and we'll look at examples of animals that have closed circulatory systems.

Types of Circulatory Systems

Think about the plumbing system in your house. There are many different pipes connected to each other, and they run from room to room. These pipes make it possible to transport water anywhere in the house and also to remove water. The plumbing system in your house is similar to the circulatory system within an animal.

The circulatory system is a combination of vessels and organs used to transport blood and nutrients throughout an organism. Just like houses, organisms come in all different shapes and sizes, which means that they require different types of circulatory systems, or plumbing. There are two types of circulatory systems that organisms have: open and closed.

Open Circulatory System

The open circulatory system is a very simple system that allows the blood and interstitial fluids, or tissue fluids, to mix together. This system contains a heart and open-ended vessels. These vessels are not connected to each other, so when blood is pumped from the heart, it travels to the ends of the vessels and is distributed and dispersed to the surrounding tissue, bathing the organs directly. The blood is then drawn back into the heart through open-ended pores, and carbon dioxide is expelled.

Your house has an open plumbing system similar to an open circulatory system. It allows water to be pumped from your town's water purification plant (the heart) through pipes (the vessels) to different rooms, such as the bathroom or kitchen, where it's distributed and dispersed through faucets or showerheads. Then it drains back into a pipe and travels through the sewer like back to the water purification plant.

Buy why do we care about open circulatory systems? After all, humans don't have them, though some animals like grasshoppers do. But the open system will help us better understand the closed circulatory system, which is the focus of our lesson.

Closed Circulatory System

The closed circulatory system is more complex than the open and contains a heart and an intricate network of vessels that are all connected to each other. The blood is pumped by a heart throughout the body in a continuous circuit, returning back to the heart and carrying carbon dioxide with it to be expelled by the lungs. Due to the nature of this system, animals with closed circulatory systems have higher blood pressure.

Now let's return to our plumbing system comparison. If your house had a closed plumbing system similar to a closed circulatory system, water would flow between the pipes but would never exit them. Rather than being dispersed at faucets and showerheads, the water would never leave the closed system of pipes. It would flow seamlessly from the water plant (the heart) through the pipes (the vessels) and then back to the plant for processing.

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