Q:

What does the aorta do?

A:

Quick Answer

The aorta is the biggest artery in the body, and it carries and distributes oxygen-rich blood to other arteries, says Regina Bailey on About Biology. It arises from the heart’s left ventricle, forms an arch and branches off into two smaller arteries in the abdomen.

 Know More

Full Answer

The aorta’s walls have three layers, which are the tunica intima, the tunica media and the tunica adventitia, states Bailey. These layers consist of connective tissue and elastic fibers, which enable the aorta to stretch to avoid over-expansion because of the pressure exerted by blood flow on the walls.

The aorta is a tube that is 1 inch in diameter and around 1 foot in length, according to WebMD. It starts at the top of the left ventricle, which is the muscular pumping chamber of the heart. The heart pumps blood into the aorta via the aortic valve. The aortic valve has three leaflets which open and close with every heartbeat to allow one-way blood flow.

The ascending aorta, one of the aorta’s sections, rises up from the heart and is around 2 inches long, explains WebMD. The aortic arch gives rise to branches that carry blood to the neck, arms and head. The descending thoracic aorta has small branches that bring blood to the ribs and several chest structures, while the abdominal aorta supplies blood to most of the body’s major organs.

Learn more about Organs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some facts about the functions of the liver?

    A:

    The liver is responsible for producing bile, a substance that breaks down fats so the body can more readily digest and absorb them, explains Stanford Children's Health. The liver also produces cholesterol and proteins that help fats travel through the body.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do lymph vessels do?

    A:

    Lymph vessels drain fluid diffused through capillary walls from tissues around the body. Some of this fluid is reabsorbed back into the capillaries; the rest is drained from cells surrounding the lymphatic vessels and back into venous circulation, as explained by The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the main functions of food?

    A:

    Food supplies the body with all the vital nutrients and energy it requires to keep running, allowing an individual to grow and thrive. Food is an important material in the body, and its consumption is necessary for survival.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where is your appendix located?

    A:

    The appendix is located at the end of the colon on the right side of the body. This end of the colon connects to the small intestine. The appendix drops drown approximately 4 inches from the colon into the lower right abdomen.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore