The heart is a muscular organ in most animals, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Blood provides the body with oxygen and nutrients, as well as assists in the removal of metabolic wastes. In humans, the heart is located between the lungs, in the middle compartment of the chest.
5 anatomical facts of the heart:
- The heart weighs between 200 to 425 grams and is a little larger than the size of your fist.
- A double-layered membrane called the pericardium surrounds your heart like a sac.
- The inner layer of the pericardium is attached to the heart muscle. A coating of fluid separates the two layers of membrane, letting the heart move as it beats.
- Your heart has 4 chambers. The upper chambers are called the left and right atria, and the lower chambers are called the left and right ventricles.
- Four valves regulate blood flow through your heart:
- The tricuspid valve regulates blood flow between the right atrium and right ventricle.
- The pulmonary valve controls blood flow from the right ventricle into the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen.
- The mitral valve lets oxygen-rich blood from your lungs pass from the left atrium into the left ventricle.
- The aortic valve opens the way for oxygen-rich blood to pass from the left ventricle into the aorta, your body’s largest artery.
5+1 amazing facts about the heart:
- Every day, your heart beats about 100,000 times! This means that the heart of an 80 year-old has beaten around 3 billion times!
- Heart cancer is very rare, because heart cells stop dividing early in life!
- The first heart cell starts to beat as early as 4 weeks!
- A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by almost 8 beats a minute!
- The heart has its own electrical supply and will continue to beat when separated from the body!
- Every cell in the body gets blood from the heart, except for the corneas!
Image: Patrick J. Lynch
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