Whale Blood vs Human Blood

From: Kim Marshall-Tilas (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Wed Dec 20 2000 - 13:27:28 EST


>Hi Joe and Joey,
>To specifically address your question below:
>How much more red blood cells do whales have than humans on a volume
>basis? (that is x% vs. y%)
>
>Human blood X cells per liter - There are typically between 2 and 5
>x 10 (12th) red blood cells (erythrocytes) in a human liter of
>blood. Since whales and humans have more or less the same hemocrit
>or volume of blood due to red blood cell mass.

The significant difference between whales and humans in regard to
oxygen carrying capacity of blood is that whales actually store
oxygen in their myoglobin (found in muscle tissue) more so than their
hemoglobin (found in the red blood cells.)
Thank you for your insightful questions!
Happy holidays and good luck completing your son's project.
Kim

>

-- 
Kim Marshall-Tilas
Senior Director
Ocean Alliance/Whale Conservation Institute
191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA  01773
781.259.0423 or fax 259.0288
www.oceanalliance.org



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