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 On completion of this section, you should be

able to:
 State that mammals have a four-chambered
heart
 Describe the external and internal structure
of the heart
 Make a drawing of a longitudinal section of a
heart
 The diagram above shows the external
structure of the heart.
 The heart is a large muscular pump that
forces blood through the circulatory system.
 It consists of two pumps working in series.
 Deoxygenated blood flows into the right side
of the heart, which pumps it into the
pulmonary circulation;
 Oxygenated blood returns to the heart to be
pumped into the systemic circulation.
Blood vessel Type of Blood Blood travelling
From To
Venae cavae Deoxygenated All the organs Right atrium
except the lungs

Pulmonary Deoxygenated Right ventricle Lungs


arteries

Pulmonary Oxygenated Lungs Left atrium


arteries

Aorta Oxygenated Left ventricle All the organs


except lungs

Coronary Oxygenated Base of aorta Capillaries


arteries (just above within hear
aortic valve) muscle

Coronary veins Deoxygenated Capillaries Cardiac sinus


within heart emptying into
muscle right atrium
Structure Function Action During
Systole Diastole
Right atrium Collects deoxygenated Contracts Relaxes
blood from vena cava;
pumps blood to right
ventricle
Tricuspid valve Ensures one-way flow Opens Closes
of blood from right
atrium to right
ventricle; prevents
backflow
Right ventricle Collects deoxygenated Contracts Relaxes
blood from right
atrium; pumps blood
into pulmonary arteries
to lungs
Left atrium Collects oxygenated Contracts Relaxes
blood from pulmonary
veins; pumps blood to
left ventricle
Structure Function Action during
Biscupid valve Ensures one-way Opens Closes
flow of blood from
left atrium to left
ventricle; prevents
backflow

Left ventricle Collects oxygenated Contracts Relaxes


blood from left
atrium; pumps
blood into aorta
and systemic
circulation

Semi-lunar valves Ensure one-way Open Close


flow of blood from
ventricles into
arteries
 The walls of the chambers of the heart are
different thickness.
 The atrial walls are thinner than the walls of
the ventricles as they have less cardiac
muscle.
 Atria contract to develop a low pressure t
move blood into the ventricles.
 The wall of the right ventricle is thinner than
the wall of the left ventricle as blood from the
right ventricle is pumped to the lungs, which
are very spongy tissue with few arterioles and
a low resistance to blood flow.
 The left ventricle pumps blood to the rest of
the body, where there are many arterioles to
determine how much blood is distributed into
different capillaries.
 Arterioles present a high resistance to flow
and therefore a high pressure is needed in
the systemic circulation.