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Vascular anatomy of the gills of the stingarees Urolophus mucosus and U. paucimaculatus (Urolophidae, Elasmobranchii)
journal contributionposted on 1989-01-01, 00:00 authored by John DonaldJohn Donald
The branchial vascular anatomy of Urolophus mucosus and U. paucimaculatus was studied by scanning electron microscopical examination of critical‐point‐dried tissue or of vascular corrosion casts. The vasculature could be divided into arterioarterial and arteriovenous pathways, which channel the flow of blood through the gills. The arterioarterial pathway consists of an afferent branchial artery which gives rise to afferent distributing arteries that run through the tissues of the interbranchial septum and supply the afferent filament arteries of several filaments. Afferent filament arteries open regularly into a corpus cavernosum in the core of the filament; unlike other elasmobranchs no septal corpora cavernosa are found. At the tip of the filament, channels of the corpus cavernosum connect to a channel which passes across the distal end of the filament from afferent to efferent side. This channel always connects to the afferent filament artery, and in many filaments it connects to the efferent filament artery as well. In addition, a vascular arcade connects all the afferent filament arteries along the entire length of each hemibranch. The filament corpus cavernosum supplies the secondary lamellae. The lamellae drain into efferent lamellar arterioles which in turn drain into the efferent filament artery and the efferent branchial artery. The vascular anatomy of the arteriovenous pathway is similar to that described in other elasmobranchs and consists of arteriovenous anastomoses, found only arising from efferent arterial circulation, and the venolymphatic system, which is composed of the central venous sinus and the companion vessels. Copyright © 1989 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.