Observations on the venous system of three species of Polypterus (Pisces)



The venous system of Polypterus exhibits general asymmetry. The features that characterize the venous system of this peculiarly African fish are the possession of many blood sinuses, the segmental drainage of blood, the continuation of the posterior cardinal veins as separated vessels and the occurrence of several anastomozes between the latter.

In the absence of any recent comprehensive work on the blood system of this fish, it was thought that investigation of the circulatory system of Polypterus would be valuable. In this paper attention is drawn to Budgettapos;s (1902) original work on a larva of Polypterus senegalus. Contrary to Budgettapos;s findings it is concluded that what he called the “interrenal” vein is in fact the right posterior cardinal vein. It is also found that paired posterior cardinal veins exist in all adults.