Gravitational gradients and blood flow patterns in specialized arboreal (Ahaetulla nasuta) and terrestrial (Crotalus adamanteus) snakes

J Comp Physiol B. 1997;167:481-93. doi: 10.1007/s003600050100.


Blood pressure and blood flow patterns were recorded from the carotid artery and aortae of a thick-bodied terrestrial snake (Crotalus adamanteus) and a thin-bodied arboreal species (Ahaetulla nasuta) anesthetized with ketamine hydrochloride. Hemodynamic stress induced by rotation resulted in pronounced changes in the blood flow patterns and pressure in C. adamanteus: rotation of A. nasuta produced changes of a similar type, but of a much lower magnitude. The markedly different responses of these two species, the baroreceptor reflexes of which were disrupted, suggest that morphological factors--such as differential gross cardiac displacement, or variation in the interaortic foramen--in addition to physiological factors, are important in determining a snake's ability to withstand hemodynamic stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Aorta / physiology
  • Blood Circulation / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology
  • Crotalus / physiology*
  • Gravitation*
  • Head-Down Tilt
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Rotation
  • Snakes / physiology*