What Is the Function of the Auricle?

The term "auricle" can refer to two separate body structures. In a human heart, the auricles are two pouches that are connected to heart's atrium. These two structures in the heart transfer blood into the left and right ventricles. The auricle can also refer to the human ear, which assists in hearing and consists of skin and cartilage held in place by muscle and ligaments.

The left and right auricles of the heart have slightly different functions. The left auricle collects oxygenated blood from the lungs before transferring it into the left ventricle. The right ventricle collects deoxygenated blood from the blood stream and transfers it to the right ventricle. Both auricles are lined with many small muscles on their surface.

When referring to the ears, the auricle is the ear's outer structure, also known as the pinna. Both auricles are located outside of the head and are connected near the temple and all the way to where the jaw meets the skull. The auricle is divided into several parts, which include the ear lobe, concha and scaffoid fossa. The auricle is the first part of the ear to come in contact with sound waves before they are transferred into the inner ear.