Where is the aorta?

Aorta - is the great artery rising from the left side of the heart, through which the blood passes on its way to all parts of the body except the lungs, which are supplied by another system. After rising from the heart, the aorta forms an arch, descending down the left side of the body. It passes through the diaphragm into the abdomen, where it divides into two lesser arteries. One of these terminates under the end of the backbone, where man has the vestige of a tail. In animals it continues into the tail as the caudal artery. The aorta is one of the elastic-or conducting-arteries, which take the blood to the muscular-or distributing ones, which connect with the veins and smaller blood vessels. Three valves at the exit of the aorta protect the heart from any back pressure that might develop in the artery and force the blood in the wrong direction. Inflammation caused by an illness such as rheumatic fever may sometimes cause these valves to leak. This is a serious condition requiring considerable medical care and attention. But in normal cases your aorta will continue to function reliably throughout your life.

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