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Animal Organ Systems – Anatomy of animals
- The Respiratory System
All cells need oxygen, the crucial ingredient for extracting energy from organic compounds. Animals obtain oxygen from their environment with their respiratory systems. The lungs of land-dwelling vertebrates gather oxygen from the air, the gills of ocean-dwelling vertebrates filter oxygen from the water. The exoskeletons of invertebrates facilitate the free diffusion of oxygen (from water or air) into their bodies. The respiratory systems of animals also excrete carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolic processes that would be fatal if left to accumulate in the body.
- The Circulatory System
Vertebrate animals supply oxygen to their cells via their circulatory systems,. They are networks of arteries, veins, and capillaries that carry oxygen-containing blood cells to every cell in their bodies. The circulatory system in higher animals is powered by the heart. This’s a dense mass of muscle that beats millions of times throughout a creature’s lifetime. The circulatory systems of invertebrate animals are much more primitive. Essentially, their blood diffuses freely throughout their much smaller body cavities.
- The Nervous System
The nervous system is what enables animals to send, receive, and process nerve and sensory impulses, as well as to move their muscles. In vertebrate animals, this system can be divided into three main components: the central nervous system (which includes the brain and spinal cord).
- The Digestive System
Animals need to break down the food they eat into its essential components in order to fuel their metabolism. Invertebrate animals have simple digestive systems—in one end, out the other (as in the case of worms or insects).
- The Endocrine System
In higher animals, the endocrine system is made up of glands (such as the thyroid and thymus) and the hormones these glands secrete. That influence or control various body functions (including metabolism, growth, and reproduction).
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