Other vertebrates

The circulatory systems of all vertebrates, as well as of annelids (for example, earthworms) andcephalopods (squid and octopus) are closed, just as in humans. Still, the systems of fish,amphibiansreptiles, and birds show various stages of the evolution of the circulatory system.

In fish, the system has only one circuit, with the blood being pumped through the capillaries of thegills and on to the capillaries of the body tissues. This is known as single cycle circulation. The heart of fish is therefore only a single pump (consisting of two chambers).

In amphibians and most reptiles, a double circulatory system is used, but the heart is not always completely separated into two pumps. Amphibians have a three-chambered heart.

In reptiles, the ventricular septum of the heart is incomplete and the pulmonary artery is equipped with a sphincter muscle. This allows a second possible route of blood flow. Instead of blood flowing through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, the sphincter may be contracted to divert this blood flow through the incomplete ventricular septum into the left ventricle and out through the aorta. This means the blood flows from the capillaries to the heart and back to the capillaries instead of to the lungs. This process is useful to ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals in the regulation of their body temperature.

Birds and mammals show complete separation of the heart into two pumps, for a total of four heart chambers; it is thought[citation needed] that the four-chambered heart of birds evolved independently from that of mammals.

Open circulatory system

The open circulatory system is a system in which fluid (called hemolymph) in a cavity called the hemocoel bathes the organs directly with oxygen and nutrients and there is no distinction between blood and interstitial fluid; this combined fluid is called hemolymph or haemolymph. Muscular movements by the animal during locomotion can facilitate hemolymph movement, but diverting flow from one area to another is limited. When the heart relaxes, blood is drawn back toward the heart through open-ended pores (ostia).

Hemolymph fills all of the interior hemocoel of the body and surrounds all cells. Hemolymph is composed of waterinorganic salts (mostlyNa+Cl-K+Mg2+, and Ca2+), and organic compounds (mostly carbohydratesproteins, and lipids). The primary oxygen transporter molecule is hemocyanin.

There are free-floating cells, the hemocytes, within the hemolymph. They play a role in the arthropod immune system.

Absence of circulatory system

Circulatory systems are absent in some animals, including flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes). Their body cavity has no lining or enclosed fluid. Instead a muscular pharynx leads to an extensively branched digestive system that facilitates direct diffusion of nutrients to all cells. The flatworm's dorso-ventrally flattened body shape also restricts the distance of any cell from the digestive system or the exterior of the organism. Oxygen can diffuse from the surrounding waterinto the cells, and carbon dioxide can diffuse out. Consequently every cell is able to obtain nutrients, water and oxygen without the need of a transport system.

Some animals, such as jellyfish, have more extensive branching from their gastrovascular cavity (which functions as both a place of digestion and a form of circulation), this branching allows for bodily fluids to reach the outer layers, since the digestion begins in the inner layers.