Macroscopic Anatomy of the Heart of the Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida)
Anatomical properties of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) heart and associated blood vessels reveal adaptations related to requirements for diving. Seven adult ringed seals were embalmed and dissected to document the gross anatomical features of the heart. Computed tomography images of the thoracic cavity were taken on one seal prior to dissection. The shape and position of the heart is different from the typical carnivore heart. The most notable difference is its dorsoventral flattened appearance with its right and left sides positioned, respectively, within the thoracic cavity. The long axis of the heart is positioned horizontally, parallel to the sternum. The right ventricle is spacious with thin walls which extend caudally to the apex of the heart such that the apex is comprised of both right and left ventricles. The cusps of the left atrioventricular valve of the ringed seal heart resemble an uninterrupted, circular curtain making it challenging to distinguish the divisions into parietal and septal cusps.
H. Smodlaka, Robert W. Henry, Juergen P. Schumacher, and Robert B. Reed Jr.. "Macroscopic Anatomy of the Heart of the Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida)" Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia 37.1 (2008): 30-35.
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