Arteriovenous anastomoses in the skin of the Weddell Seal, Leptonychotes weddelli

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Science  26 Sep 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4208, pp. 1100-1102
DOI: 10.1126/science.1162361


Arteriovenous anastomoses of epithelioid type were demonstrated in Weddell seal skin. The majority occurred just beneath the epidermis and among the hair follicles. There was no significant variation in density of these anastomoses between body and flipper skin. These observations suggest that arteriovenous anastomoses are important in thermoregulation in the Weddell seal, particularly as heat dissipating structures when the animal is out of the water, and that the entire body surface is involved rather than specific regions such as the flippers.

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