Blood pressure adaptation in vertebrates: Comparative biology

With evolution from water to land, the osmotic regulation of body fluids and cardiovascular systems of vertebrates evolved to cope with dryness and gravity. While aquatic vertebrates can use buoyancy to compensate for the effects of gravity, terrestrial vertebrates cannot, and must circulate blood throughout their body – a necessity that likely led to the development of strong hearts and high blood pressure. These changes may be supported by anatomical evolution of the cardiovascular system and by functional evolution, with alterations in hormonal systems. Thus, during the evolution of terrestrial animals, increased performance of body functions to endure harsher environments was required, necessitating increased blood pressure. In an age of overeating and insufficient exercise, modern man does not fully utilize the high levels of physical functions acquired through evolution. Drastic changes in our living environment cause hypertension, the pathogenesis of which remains unknown. To survive in new environments, as might be expected in outer space or underwater, an understanding is required of how changes in blood pressure have occurred that enabled adaptation through evolution in vertebrates.

Publish DateAugust 25, 2023
Last UpdatedAugust 25, 2023