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Cardiac anatomy

What about the anatomy of the heart of acanthomorphs ?

Coeur de daurade royale  
Images: B. Chanet
Left lateral view of the heart of a gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata, Sparidae) 
See the anatomical position of the heart on this image showing a dissection of a European perch or on the image of RMI of a dolphinfish (at the base of this page).

The heart of acanthomorph fishes is a three-chambered one: atrium,  ventricle and bulbous arteriosus. No valve prevents blood from flowing freely from the atrium to the ventricle and then to the bulbous arteriosus.

 Blood coming from organs  (muscles, brain, digestive tract ...) enters in the atrium, then in the ventricle. The powerfull contractions of the muscular part (=myocardium) of the ventricle push blood to the bulbous arteriosus, then to the gills where gaz exchanges will take place. Blood circulating in the heart is only venous blood, deoxygenated and rich in CO2.


Pathways of blood flow in an acanthomorph (Images: B. Chanet).

Heart anatomy shows little variation within acanthomorphs :



Heart of a dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus, Coryphaenidae) seen in a virtual parasagittal section through a RMI examination grâce. Source: Digital Fish Library.

All these animals present the same cardiac organisation ... but the size of the heart can be very variable : antarctic acanthomorph species belonging to the Channichthyidae possess a huge heart.