Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate body's principal means of delivering oxygen from the lungs or gills to body tissues via the blood.
Human red blood cellsRed blood cells are also known as RBCs, haematids or erythrocytes (from Greek erythros for "red" and kytos for "hollow", with cyte nowadays translated as "cell"). RBCs should more properly be referred to as "corpuscles" rather than "cells", as a cells contains a nucleus while mature RBCs in mammals do not.
A schistocyte is a red blood cell undergoing fragmentation, or a fragmented part of a red blood cell.
Erythrocytes consist mainly of hemoglobin, a complex molecule containing heme groups whose iron atoms temporarily link to oxygen molecules in the lungs or gills and release them throughout the body. Oxygen can easily diffuse through the red blood cell's cell membrane. Hemoglobin also carries some of the waste product carbon dioxide back from the tissues. (In humans, less than 2% of the total oxygen, and most of the carbon dioxide, is held in solution in the blood plasma). A related compound, myoglobin, acts to store oxygen in muscle...