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The venous system of the terrestrial crab ocypode cordimanus with particular reference to the vasculature of the lungs



The venous system of the terrestrial crab ocypode cordimanus with particular reference to the vasculature of the lungs



Journal of Morphology 181(2): 133-142



The respiratory system of O. cordimanus consists of 7 pairs of gills, modified for aerial gas exchange, and a single pair of lungs. Each lung is formed from the inner surface of the branchiostegite and the thoracic wall of the branchial chamber. The branchiostegal surface is increased by a fleshy infolding, the branchiostegal shelf, while the surface area of the thoracic lung wall is enhanced by a large flaplike fold. The anatomy of the major sinus systems and the vascular supply to the lungs were investigated. Venous hemolymph is supplied to the lungs potentially from all the major body sinuses. The dorsal, ventral, hepatic and infrabranchial sinuses are all connected anteriorly to the 2 eye sinuses which distribute hemolymph to the lungs. Each eye sinus gives off 5 branches to the branchiostegal lung surface and 1 to the thoracic lung wall. These afferent vessels are highly branched and interdigitate closely with efferent vessels. The 2 systems are connected by flat lacunae lying just beneath the respiratory epithelium and these are believed to be the site of gas exchange. The efferent vessels empty into 2 pulmonary veins on each side, one serving the branchiostegal lung wall and the other the thoracic wall. The 2 vessels on each side fuse before joining the pericardial cavity as a single trunk on each side.

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