The physiological and evolutionary significance of cardiovascular shunting patterns in reptiles.

  title={The physiological and evolutionary significance of cardiovascular shunting patterns in reptiles.},
  author={James W Hicks},
  journal={News in physiological sciences : an international journal of physiology produced jointly by the International Union of Physiological Sciences and the American Physiological Society},
  • J. Hicks
  • Published 1 December 2002
  • Biology
  • News in physiological sciences : an international journal of physiology produced jointly by the International Union of Physiological Sciences and the American Physiological Society
The morphology of the reptilian heart results in the mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood (cardiac shunts). In birds and mammals cardiac shunts are detrimental, but in reptiles this condition is often considered a derived trait, conveying important physiological functions and favored by natural selection. Alternative views are advanced suggesting that, in reptiles, cardiac shunts represent either an ancestral condition or an embryonic trait. 

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