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Difference Between Open and Closed Circulatory Systems

Open vs Closed Circulatory Systems

The body is a complex mechanism that consists of different systems to help it function effectively. Animals have nervous systems, respiratory systems, circulatory systems, and several other systems with functions that are vital to their survival and health.

The circulatory system involves the heart, blood and the blood vessels that transport the blood for distribution to the different parts and organs of the body. Its main function is to distribute hormones and nutrients to all body parts and also for the elimination of body wastes.

It also delivers oxygen which the body needs for proper metabolism and healthy functioning. The heart pumps the blood which are carried through the blood vessels and spread throughout the body. Oxygen is also spread to remove carbon dioxide waste. There are two types of circulatory systems, the open and the closed circulatory systems.

Open Circulatory Systems

Open circulatory systems are those found in animals that have blood that do not flow in blood vessels. Insects have open circulatory systems because they don�t have veins, capillaries, and arteries that carry their blood.

In the open circulatory system, all body tissues and organs are covered in blood and animals that have this system have lower blood pressure because blood is directly distributed to all body organs without the use of blood vessels.

It also requires less energy in its distribution. Small bodied animals and those with slower metabolism have this circulatory system. Their digestive and respiratory processes are less active and they move at a slower pace than larger animals so they don�t have immediate need for oxygen which takes longer to distribute in open circulatory systems.

Closed Circulatory Systems

Closed circulatory systems are those that are found in animals that have veins, capillaries, and arteries that carry their blood. Humans and other large and active animals have this system.

There are two processes involved in a closed circulatory system. One is pulmonary circulation wherein blood passes through the lungs to be oxygenated. Another is the systemic circulation of the blood which follows the pulmonary circulation and the oxygenated blood is distributed to other parts of the body.

The blood passes through the arteries to the veins which carry it at high pressure and speed to all body parts.

It uses less blood for faster and higher levels of distribution. Animals with closed circulatory systems usually have faster metabolism and have body functions that work faster and quicker. The fast distribution of blood also allows for the fast and more effective distribution of antibodies that fight diseases and infections.


1. Open circulatory systems are mostly found in small animals while closed circulatory systems are found in large and more active animals.
2. The blood in open circulatory systems does not flow through blood vessels while the blood in closed circulatory systems flows through blood vessels.
3. Animals with open circulatory systems have lower blood pressure because it requires less energy to distribute while those with closed circulatory systems have higher blood pressure and require more energy.

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