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Natalie Lindstrom has a gift: the power to speak to the dead, to solve crimes by interviewing murder victims. But now Natalie wants to escape, from the voices.
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For example, a long-term overdose of sumatriptan, a migraine medication, reportedly caused one case of green blood discovered by doctors. Sumatriptan is sometimes known as Imitrex. It belongs to a group of chemicals known as sulfonamides. Unlike methemoglobinemia, sulfhemoglobinemia can't be treated with a medication that returns the hemoglobin to normal. The abnormal pigment is gradually eliminated as old red blood cells are broken down and new ones with new hemoglobin are made, provided the cause of the damaged pigment is removed. Red blood cells exist for only about days.

We have all the answers for why your bruises can look like nearly every color of the rainbow.

If a person has severe sulfhemoglobinemia he or she may need a blood transfusion. Vertebrates generally have red blood, but there are some exceptions.

One genus of skink Prasinohaema has green blood and is given the name green-blooded skink. Like other vertebrates, green-blooded skinks do have hemoglobin in their blood. The blood also contains a very high concentration of biliverdin, however. Biliverdin is a green pigment produced from the breakdown of hemoglobin. Its main location in most vertebrates is in bile, a secretion produced by the liver.

Bile emulsifies fats in the small intestine and makes them easier to digest. In the green-blooded skink, the biliverdin in the blood reaches levels that would be toxic in other lizards or in humans. Some members of the phylum Annelida segmented worms and leeches contain a green respiratory pigment called chlorocruorin. Blood containing chlorocruorin may be green but isn't necessarily so. Some annelids with the pigment also contain hemoglobin, which masks the green color.


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Members of the phylum Arthropoda and the phylum Mollusca have an open circulatory system. In this system, blood travels through vessels during only part of its journey around the body. The rest of the time it moves through a body cavity called a hemocoel. The fluid in the circulatory system is technically known as hemolymph.

Outside of science, however, it's often called blood. The blood hemolymph of some invertebrates contains hemocyanin instead of hemoglobin.

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Like hemoglobin, hemocyanin transports oxygen and is a protein that contains a metal. However, hemocyanin contains copper instead of iron.

It's blue in its oxygenated form and colorless in its deoxygenated form. A hemocyanin molecule contains two copper atoms, which together bind to one oxygen molecule.

Blood Color in Humans and Animals: Meaning and Function

Hemocyanin is the respiratory pigment in molluscs such as snails, slugs, clams, octopuses, and squids , and in some arthropods such as crabs, lobsters, and spiders. The pigment is found in the liquid hemolymph instead of being trapped in cells. The insect in the photo above is a Peleides blue morpho butterfly Morpho peleides. It's blue on its dorsal upper surface and brown on its ventral one. Insects are arthropods with pale yellow, pale green, or colorless hemolymph.

A squashed mosquito may release red blood, but this comes from the animal or human that provided the mosquito's last meal. Oxygen is transported around an insect's body in a network of tubes known as the tracheal system. The hemolymph doesn't transport oxygen and therefore doesn't need respiratory pigments.

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The pale colors which are sometimes seen in the liquid are thought to be due to the presence of pigmented food molecules that have entered the hemolymph. Sea cucumbers extract vanadium from sea water and concentrate it in their bodies. The vanadium is used to make proteins called vanabins, which become yellow when they're oxygenated. However, scientists don't know whether vanabins actually transport oxygen in a sea cucumber's body. At least some species of sea cucumber have hemoglobin in their circulatory fluid. Like other insects, cockroaches have tracheae that transport oxygen and have no respiratory pigment in their hemolymph.

The liquid is usually colorless. Females that are producing eggs may have pale orange hemolymph, however. Inside their bodies, an organ called the fat body makes an orange protein called vitellogenin.

This gives rise to a major egg yolk protein called vitellin. Vitellogenin is secreted into the hemolymph, giving it a slight color. Some marine invertebrates have hemerythrin as a respiratory pigment. This pigment is colorless when deoxygenated and pink-violet in color when oxygenated. Icefish generally live in the Antarctic and belong to the family Channichthyidae. They are also called crocodile fish due to the shape of their long snout and white-blooded fish because their colorless blood has no red blood cells and no respiratory pigment.

Oxygen is transported in the blood plasma of the animals. Icefish are the only vertebrates with colorless blood. The fish have a number of adaptations that allow them to live successfully in cold water. Oxygen dissolves better in cold water than warm water, though this property on its own is not sufficient to keep the fish alive. The animals have a large heart that pumps a lot of blood with each beat. They also have a larger blood volume than fish of a comparable size that have red blood as well as more blood vessels in their skin. These vessels absorb some oxygen, though the icefish does have gills for absorbing oxygen as well.

It's interesting that different species have developed different solutions to the problem of distributing oxygen throughout the body. Scientific research in this area is useful because it helps us to understand life on Earth better. In addition, researchers are discovering that some respiratory pigments have benefits for humans. For example, keyhole limpet hemocyanin KLH has been found to stimulate the activity of our immune systems and is added to some vaccines for this reason.

It will be interesting to see what future research reveals about respiratory pigments. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency. I'm doing a poster on why humans have red blood and why spiders have blue blood.

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Could you give more information about spider blood? Hemocyanin is an example of a metalloprotein a protein that contains a metal. In some countries, its name is spelled haemocyanin. Oxygenated hemocyanin in spider hemolymph absorbs all colours of light, except blue, which it reflects to our eyes. This makes the hemolymph look blue.

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Without oxygen, the hemolymph is colourless. Two copper atoms in the hemocyanin join to one oxygen molecule. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. That's a very interesting idea for using the knowledge of different blood colours!

Thanks for the comment, Fern. Thank you so much for creating this article! It will be very useful for creating characters with alternative blood colours, and knowing the colours of their blood in their deoxygenated states will be incredibly useful for painting the colour zones of the characters. This is an amazing article! It's interesting to learn why different species of animals have different blood colors, and how we can use that to not only better understand life, but also work to improve quality of life.

Thank you so much for sharing this! Hi, Missy. Since your doctor took the blood sample, you should ask him or her about your son's blood colour. The doctor will be able to give you information about the condition of your son's blood. Hi, Kristen. Thank you for the comment. One example related to your question is the use of methylene blue to remove excess methemoglobin from the blood. This can change the colour of the blood from an abnormal dark red-brown colour to the normal red colour.

Took my 14 year old son to Dr and his blood appeared to be like a deep chalky red what can this mean. Thank you for your amazing article! I have a question, however. Born: March 5 , in Opole, Opolskie, Poland. Filmography by Job Trailers and Videos. Our Favorite Trailers of the Week. Share this page:. The Most Beautiful Actresses.