What Are The Differences Between Arteries, Veins And Capillaries?


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Florent Lefortier Profile
Arteries, veins and capillaries are all blood vessels. They are part of the circulatory system, and work to move blood around the body. All three have slightly different jobs to do, and they’re not all the same size, either!

What Are Arteries?
Arteries are the biggest - they carry oxygenated blood away from the heart, and are the highest-pressure blood vessels we have. This high pressure is the reason it’s so dangerous to sever an artery!

The largest artery in the body is the aorta, which is in the heart.

What Are Veins?

Your veins are what carry the blood back to the heart, so basically, they do the opposite of your arteries. The blood in your veins is full of carbon dioxide, and is taken back to the heart so it can be oxygenated again!

What Are Capillaries?

Capillaries are much smaller then arteries and veins. Their purpose is to transport blood from the bigger blood-vessels to the tissue surrounding them.

If you think of your arteries and blood vessels as a highway - each taking cars in different directions - then your capillaries are the little roads that break off from the highway, allowing the cars to come and go.
beth Profile
beth answered
  • Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart and around the body, with the exception of the pulmonary artery which carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs.
  • Veins carry deoxygenated blood from the body to the heart, with the exception of the pulmonary vein which carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart.
  • Veins contain valves to prevent the blood from flowing the wrong way.
  • Capillaries are very small, the walls are only one cell thick, and carry oxygenated and deoxygenated blood.

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