From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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A little heart is an item found in Wario Land 4. They have the appearance of a small red orb and are found after defeating enemies that drop coins. They refill Wario's heart gauge, and collecting 8 will empty the heart gauge and add one heart to Wario's heart meter. If Wario's heart meter and heart gauge are both full, then enemies that would usually drop little hearts after being defeated will drop Silver Coins instead.