BO VEISLAND, MI&I / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BO VEISLAND, MI&I / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Main artery. Illustration of a human anatomical figure with the organs removed from the torso to show the main artery, the aorta. The aorta pumps oxygenated blood to the body directly from the heart. At upper centre (thick, hook-shaped) is the start of the aorta at the heart's left ventricle (unseen). The aorta quickly branches to form the axillary arteries which carry blood to the arms. Branching upwards to the neck are the brachiocephalic (left) and the carotid (right) arteries. As the aorta passes down the chest it branches to supply the major organs and muscles. In the abdomen it terminates when it branches to form the iliac arteries that supply the legs.
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