|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Apparently at least some (and probably all) myriapods have blood containing the oxygen-carrying blood pigment hemocyanin, based on copper (rather than iron as in our blood). The blood would thus be pale blue in color. How widespread this blood pigment is in the myriapods is unknown (they were apparently only discovered in 1985!), but it seems to be found in both centipedes and millipedes. Unfortunately all the references are rather technical. See: Factbites: Hemocyanin at http://www.factbites.com/topics/Hemocyanin Burmester, Thorsten. 2001. Molecular evolution of the arthropod hemocyanin superfamily, Molecular Biology and Evolution 18:184-195. at: http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/18/2/184 Jaenicke, E, et al. 1999. Identification, structure, and properties of hemocyanin from diplopod myriapoda. J. Biol. Chem. 274: 29071-29074. Abstract available on line (see Burmester list of references for link). Mangum, C. P., J. L. Scott, R. E. L. Black, K. I. Miller, and K. E. van Holde. 1985. Centipedal hemocyanins: its structure and implication for arthropod phylogeny. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82:3721–3725.
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