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Old Feb 27 2010, 04:25 PM   #10
Tamara Henson
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: California
Gender: F
Fan of: All the Weyrs of Pern
Now Reading: The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey
Default Re: Copper-based blood

Copper-based blood (Hemocyanin) can be found in many arthropods. Hermit Crabs have been mentioned but lobsters, snails, and spiders also have hemocyanin - and both snails and lobsters are definatly eaten. Unfortunatly this blood is more blue than green tough theretically it may be green in other species.

More relevant perhaps is the green blooded skink. As soon as I read about this animal my mind flashed onto Pern's dragons. This is a lizard of the genus Prasinohaema that litterlly has bright green blood.The best known is the New Guinea species P.virens. According to Wikipedia (and I confirmed it by looking it up in several reptile books at the library)..

As in other lizards of the genera Prasinohaema, the blood of P. virens is green, rather than the usual red coloration of most vertebrates. The green blood pigmentation results in a strikingly bright lime-green coloration of muscles, bones, tongue, and mucosal tissue. This coloration of the blood is the result of the accumulation of the bile pigment biliverdin in levels that would be toxic in all other other vertebrates.[2] Biliverdin is a compound that is formed from the breakdown of hemoglobin, and is normally converted to bilirubin. However, it is believed that mutation in various genes regulating bilirubin formation lead to the formation and accumulation of high levels of biliverdin

Some sites claim this lizard is toxic but in actuallity it simply taste so bad predators avoid it. Never heard that wherries taste horrible but it is possible that Pernese vertebrates have a similar chemical or that the chemical is unique to dragons, firelizards, and whers.

Last edited by Tamara Henson; Feb 27 2010 at 04:37 PM. Reason: correction of text
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