An auricle is a feature of the anatomy of the heart.
There are two auricles in the heart. One auricle is attached to each of the anterior surfaces of the outer-walls of the atria (that is, the left atrium and the right atrium). Visually, they look like wrinkled pouch-like structures. Their purpose is to increase the capacity of the atrium, and so also increase the volume of blood that it is able to contain.
It is useful to know about the auricles for two reasons:
- to understand the physiology of how they work and how they contribute to the overall effectiveness of the heart, and
- because (in terms of anatomy), other important components of the heart are often described in terms of their position relative to one or other of the auricles.
These structures are called 'auricles' because they were thought to resemble dog's ears.
More about the heart and blood circulation: This website includes many pages about the heart, blood, blood circulation, disorders of the blood circulation system, and related topics. Some topics relevant to the subject of this page are listed below. Visit these pages or use the search bar to access further information.
- The Structure of the Heart
- The Functions of the Heart
- Systemic Circulation (i.e. blood flow around the body beyond the heart and lungs)
- Pulmonary Circulation (i.e. blood flow through the heart and lungs)
- Heart Conditions, heart problems and disorders, both chronic and acute
- Heart Disease Risk Factors, avoidable and unavoidable
- Discoveries about the circulatory system and how it works
For further information see also our pages of books about heart disease.