Gross heart anatomy of Arctocephalus australis (Zimmerman, 1783)
Little research has been carried out on the gross visceral anatomy of the Otariidae, and the anatomical information for the southern fur seals, Arctocephalus spp., is scant. The aim of the present study was to describe the external and internal conformation, and the sanguineous irrigation of the heart of Arctocephalus australis. Twelve hearts of Arctocephalus australis were studied by simple dissection. In the right ventricle the trabeculae carneae were well developed and there were three or more papillary muscles. In the left ventricle there were two papillary muscles, subatrialis and subauricularis, attached to the parietal wall. There was also a great development of trabeculae carneae which occupied almost all of the ventricle, from the left atrioventricular valve up to the proximities of the expulsion route. A large quantity of muscular strands were found extending themselves between the trabeculae carneae, becoming more dense and forming a network when near the apex. The distribution of the branches of the coronary arteries was highly variable and no heart was similar to another one in this sense. In the majority of the hearts the subsinosal interventricular branch proceeded from the right coronary artery. It is concluded that there were many differences between the heart of the Arctocephalus australis and the heart of the domestic dog, contrary to what has been suggested for other genera of Otariidae.
Key wordscoronary vessels marine mammal Otariidae
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