Some cells have particular functions and have specialized structures to support these functions. Explanation how the structure of the erythrocyte cell supports its function.

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The erythrocyte, which I'll refer to has the red blood cell (RBC) from here on out, is the primary means by which oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between blood and the body's tissues. Without RBCs and a closed circulatory system, animals would not be able to reach the sizes...

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The erythrocyte, which I'll refer to has the red blood cell (RBC) from here on out, is the primary means by which oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged between blood and the body's tissues. Without RBCs and a closed circulatory system, animals would not be able to reach the sizes of the largest vertebrates like elephants and whales. During the Carboniferous, there were very large invertebrates, but only because atmospheric concentration of oxygen was high enough for oxygen to reach all of an organism's tissues by diffusion.

An RBC is shaped like a donut with a depression in the center. This shape has a high surface area, which allows for more gas exchange. RBCs also lack nuclei in most mammals. The interior is filled with hemoglobin, the primary gas-carrying molecule in mammals. Lacking a nucleus leaves more space for hemoglobin. The consequence, however, is that RBCs don't reproduce by mitosis and have short life spans. Instead, new RBCs are produced in bone marrow and are stored in the spleen when not circulating freely in the blood.

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