oxygenated haemoglobin

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I accidentally crushed another ickle spider in the barn (it’s that frenzied time of year) and it got me thinking, do people realise spider blood is bluish?

In humans a protein inside red blood cells called haemoglobin carries oxygen molecules. Human blood is red because haemoglobin contains oxygenated air.

In spiders the protein haemocyanin contains oxygenated copper. It is not stored in blood cells and circulates unabated in the hemocoel. Crustaceans, octopus, and squid also have blue blood.

This has been your trivial information post of the day.

Turian Headcanons, Round 2

[Round 1]

[Because these thoughts haunt me night and day.]

Last Edit: May 16, 2014

Physiology

  • Turians don’t sweat; Palaven is too hot and the sun is too strong. If turians evolved to sweat, they would lose moisture far too fast, killing the species. Instead, they preserve water inside their bodies, and tend to shade themselves during the hottest parts of the day on any planet. To avoid overheating, the interlocking of their plates is constructed in such a way to support airflow, allowing for large blood vessels underneath to cool the body.
  • Turian blood is blue, a mixture of cells (like our RBCs, our WBCs, and platelets) and haemocyanin, a sort of copper-based subsitute to haemoglobin. Unlike Haemoglobin, which turns our blood red when oxygenated, haemocyanin remains outside of the cells, and turns blue when oxygenated (it is a gray color when not exposed to oxygen). However, Haemocyanin is not as efficient at processing oxygen as haemoglobin, so turians have evolved to handle this pressure with more haemocyanin per milliliter and a larger blood cell count. Turians cannot handle high altitudes for long periods of time without proper respiratory assistance, and are not fond of dry, mountainous areas(it can crack their carapace).
  • Because of their blood and diet differences, turians are extremely resilient to outside and alien illnesses. Many bacteria that would be a hazard for Asari, Human, Batarian, or Salarian generally does not register in their systems because the bacteria  have nothing to feed off of, and therefore die before they can ever reproduce. Viruses can be trickier though, but again, this is rare, due to viruses needing a copy of genetic material to force the cell to replicate, and turian genetics just don’t match up with other levo-amino acid species, and thus incur little risk from exposure. They can still fall ill to bio-engineered viruses and bacteria, and have plenty of microbes on Palaven that plagued them for centuries, before modern medicine caught up to them and basically wiped the dangerous microbes out.
  • Turians to not experience a menstruation cycle, or at the very least, they do not bleed. They do however have an extended period of fertility (see Turian Headcanons, Round 1), so their hormones and bodies do go through a natural cycle of readying the body for reproduction. The difference however is that if the female remains infertile, she simply absorbs any leftover nutrients necessary for sustaining life back into her body. This helps makes sure that there is no unnecessary water or nutrients lost, and the females go right back to normal afterwards.
  • Turian eyes have a polarizing agent to them; this allows them to see more clearly in sunlight, as well as see each other more easily by cutting off any potential reflection from the thulium in turian skin.
  • Speaking of turian skin, it is prone to tarnishing on the edges with age. As the thulium oxidizes, it tends to cause orange and blue hues along the skin. These need to be periodically cleaned, and if they aren’t it can cause elaborate lines and dis figuration. It’s generally not seen as clean or sanitary to leave one’s skin in this condition however, and turians liken this oxidization to the same level that humans loathe acne and blemishes.
  • Turians are very close to obligate carnivores. The main portion of their diet is comprised of meat, and their bodies have adapted to/for this (searing teeth, hard, cartilaginous mouths, and mandibles to help hold prey in place, claws for tearing, digigrade stance for fast movement, binocular vision, deep chest for heavy breathing). They do however supplement their diet with side dishes of fresh greens, dextro-dairy products, salted snacks, and sometimes even the occasional dextro-amino-based chocolate treat. Fruit and other fleshy plants tend to reek havoc on their digestive systems and are best avoided, as are grains and seeds.