Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The arteries and veins of the heart of the beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) are described from the dissection of nine specimens. The arterial distribution is composed of the basic mammalian pattern of two major vessels, the left and right coronary arteries, which supply the cardiac tissue. The venous drainage is provided by three major systems which are the great, middle, and small cardiac veins. The vascular characteristics of the heart of the beluga whale are the marked sinuosity of both coronary arteries and their main branches, the numerous large interarterial anastomoses between major vessels, and the duplication of vessels in parallel branches. These characteristics are discussed in functional terms and correlated with the diving ability of the species.
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