There are around 1000 varieties of bats all over the world. They can be seen in all sizes, and their diet consists of insects, nectar and fruits. The vampire bats, however, feed on the blood of other animals.
Whatever the type, they mostly have a few features in common. For example, bats rest by hanging upside down. Their circulatory system is specially adapted by having special valves which prevent the blood from rushing to their heads.
The circulatory system carries the blood throughout the bat’s body via blood vessels. Blood is the carrier for food and oxygen, and it removes waste from the body. The rate of oxygen needed depends upon the type of activity. When the bat is hibernating, it requires very little oxygen; and so it has a heart beat rate of only 4 beats per minute. However, the rate increases to 1,100 beats per minute while flying.
Therefore, the heart of a bat is very muscular and quite large. The right atrium is very large as it has to hold large amounts of venous blood rushing into it during flight which, in turn, has to be pumped into the lungs. Also, the individual muscle fibers of the cardiac tissue are very thin, and so a large amount can be packed in a given amount of muscle tissue. This enables the heart to have powerful contractions.
The blood vessels are similar to mammalian physiology. True to form, the left ventricle pumps blood into the aorta. The venules collect blood from the various organs via the capillaries. From there, the blood is sent to its two large veins, the superior vena cava and inferior vena cava. The blood is then sent to the right atrium.
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