The vertebrate cardiovascular system includes a heart, which is a muscular pump that contracts to propel blood out to the body through arteries, and a series of blood vessels. The upper chamber of the heart, the atrium (pl. atria), is where the blood enters the heart. Passing through a valve, blood enters the lower chamber, the ventricle. Contraction of the ventricle forces blood from the heart through an artery. The heart muscle is composed of cardiac muscle cells.
Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from heart. Arterial walls are able to expand and contract. Arteries have three layers of thick walls. Smooth muscle fibers contract, another layer of connective tissue is quite elastic, allowing the arteries to carry blood under high pressure