Difference Between Dorsal and Ventral

Dorsal vs Ventral
 

In anatomy, the directional terms are of great importance, especially in understanding the locations and positions of organs and organ systems inside the body of any animal. The most important and the main directions that are essential in understanding the anatomy of animals are anterior – posterior, left – right, and dorsal – ventral. Anterior, left, and dorsal directions are opposite with posterior, right, and ventral directions respectively. It would also be important to state that all of these directional pairs can form lines that are perpendicular with each other.

Dorsal

Dorsal side is simply the backside of an animal. The outermost side of an ant is its dorsal side, which is covered with the thick cuticle. The carapace of a crab is its dorsal side while a bee has its wings on the dorsal side. The carapace of a crab, shell of a turtle, back side of the human do not bear external appendages, whereas bees and other insects have developed extensions such as wings from their dorsal side. The dorsal side is termed as the Dorsum, which is the area where the backbone is present in vertebrates. However, the term dorsal can be used to refer a relative location of an organ or a system in the body of an animal. As an example, oesophagus of vertebrates is dorsal to their heart. Additionally, the lateral line of a fish can be found dorsally to the pectoral fin.

The term dorsal is also used as an adjective, especially in the fishes. The topmost fin of a fish is known as the dorsal fin. However, head of the human is not considered as a dorsal organ despite it lies at the topmost location of the body. Therefore, it is clear that the dorsal side of different animals vary with the mode of life. Additionally, this term is used in botanical understandings, such as the dorsal side of a leaf.

Ventral

Ventral is the underside of an organism or an organ. The abdomen and/or belly is usually located at the ventral side of an organism, and many important organs and organ systems are found in this region of the body. Vertebrates have a ventral heart, which means that the term can be used to describe the relative position of organs inside bodies. Usually, the genitals are found at the ventral side. Fish that live close at the bottom of the water column have ventral mouths. Sea urchin also has a ventral mouth so that they can scrape the algae on the seabed.

However, the ventral side is softer in texture compared to the dorsal side because the ventral side is instinctively or physically protected by the dorsal side. The ventral side bears external appendages in most of the animals; at least the external organs are directed towards the ventral side. In invertebrates, the nerve cord runs through the ventral side; on the other hand, the vertebrates have a ventral alimentary canal but a dorsal nerve cord.

Dorsal vs Ventral

• Dorsal is the backside while ventral is the opposite of backside.

• When a particular organ (A) is ventral to another (B), the organ-B lies dorsal to the organ-A.

• Ventral side bears more external organs than the dorsal side usually does.

• Usually, the dorsal side is hardy while the ventral side is tender.