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red blood cells

Red blood cells, large and small!

By Alyson Smith

We can learn a lot about animals by looking at their cells, and red blood cells are no exception. These specialized cells—found in vertebrates and six other groups of animals—travel in blood vessels to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs (or gills) and the rest of the body. Red blood cells get their color from heme, an iron-containing molecule that transports oxygen.