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Gravitational haemodynamics and oedema prevention in the giraffe

Because it is so tall, the giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, provides an important animal model for investigating adaptive mechanisms to orthostatic (gravitational) pressure changes. Previous physiological studies of the giraffe have concentrated on arterial blood pressures in the heart and neck. Briefly, these investigations revealed that arterial pressure near the giraffe heart is about twice that in humans, to provide more normal blood pressure and perfusion to the brain. Another important question is that of how giraffes avoid pooling of blood

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Is the Flow in the Giraffe’s Jugular Vein a “Free” fall?

There is a controversy as to whether or not the heart works against gravity in the arteries to the head in the upright position. One view is that the gravitational effects in the neck arteries are counterbalanced by the gravitational effects in the veins of the neck and the heart does not do extra pressure work. This concept has been challenged by others who claim that the heart works against gravity based on the notion that jugular vein is collapsed

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