How Do The Aorta Of A Frog And Human Differ?

Have you ever thought to yourself, "How do the aorta of a frog and human differ?"  To best understand the difference between the aorta of a frog and that of a human you first need to look at basic differences in their hearts.

The most obvious difference between anuran (the group that includes frogs and toads) and human hearts is the number of chambers. A frog's heart has three chambers while humans' have four. While both types of hearts have two atriums for blood collection, the three-chambered heart has only one ventricle to send it back out into the body. So, in a three-chambered heart, oxygenated blood and deoxygenated blood enter the same ventricle. To keep them from mixing too much, frog hearts have specialized ridges to help sort the blood out and direct it to the right place: the lungs or the body. There is some mixing though, so it's not as efficient as the four-chambered model (with two ventricles) that keeps the blood from mixing in the first place.

So where does the aorta come into all this? And how is the aorta of a frog different from that of a human? All aorta serve the same purpose: to take oxygen rich blood to all parts of the body. The aorta of humans is a singular body with five segments, including a u-shaped arch towards the top .

In fish there are two aorta: the ventral aorta that carries blood to the gills, and a separate dorsal aorta that carries the blood to the body. This works well with a fish's two chambered heart. While amphibians, including frogs, have a more complicated heart structure, they retain a connecting vessel so that the aorta has two parallel arches. (It forms a "heart" around their heart.) In the end, that second arch is the main difference between the aorta of a frog and a human. The second major difference would be the quality of oxygenated blood that is being carried in the aorta. As mentioned before, the blood on  the human aorta will be richer.

Even earthworms, which don't have hearts, have aortic arches. It's really fascinating to note that as we move to "higher" species we lose more of the aortic arches we share in the embryological stage.  It's easy to see why the study of the aorta of different animals is so important to scientists as they study the patterns that connect us all.


Frog Anatomy

Human Anatomy

Anatomy of the Heart: Aorta

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