Comparative cardiac anatomy of the reptilia. IV. The coronary arterial circulation

J Morphol. 1981 Oct;170(1):1-27. doi: 10.1002/jmor.1051700102.


The coronary arterial supply and associated structures have been examined and described for 29 species covering 11 reptilian families, with supplementary observations on other species. Variation in the origin, number, and configuration of coronary arterial vessels is mainly interfamilial and the same is true regarding the presence or absence of a gubernaculum cordis. It is suggested that the presence of a hitherto unrecognized intertruncal branch of the coronary artery has been responsible for much of the alleged intrafamilial variation reported in earlier literature. A general review of the cardiac blood supply and coronary arterial supply of other lower vertebrates is presented and used as a basis for interpreting phyletic and functional aspects of the reptilian conditions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / physiology*
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Heart / anatomy & histology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Reptiles / anatomy & histology*