Most mammals have enucleated RBCs as an adaptation to facilitate the transport of oxygen. My text says that camels and llamas are exceptions to these.

I was wondering why they are exceptions, and the Google search results are confusing. Some sites say that camels have nucleated RBCs to facilitate cell division. Some others state that camels, like all other mammals possess enucleated but different shaped RBCs. So, which is correct?

The links:https://www.quora.com/Why-do-camels-have-nucleated-red-blood-cells https://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070702070352AAkfspZ

  • $\begingroup$ Could you maybe add some links to some of the sites you found? Then it is easier to track down, where they get their information from and figure out which is reliable. $\endgroup$
    – skymningen
    Apr 12 '16 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ You should probably write to the editors of your textbook and ask them to correct this. It is time for education boards to make it compulsory for textbooks to cite references except for very basic information. $\endgroup$
    Apr 12 '16 at 10:00

Camel RBCs are anucleate [1, 2]. The dark structure seen in microscopic images is not nuclei but a network of microtubules called the marginal bands. Marginal bands cause these RBCs to adopt an ellipsoid shape. The unique shape of these RBCs possibly allows them to survive osmotic stress and is probably advantageous to a camel under extreme dehydration.

[1] Cohen, William D., and N. Barclay Terwilliger. "Marginal bands in camel erythrocytes." Journal of cell science 36.1 (1979): 97-107.
[2] Long, Charles A. "Evolution of function and form in camelid erythrocytes." Actas de The 2007 WSEAS International Conference on Cellular & Molecular Biology, Biophysics & Bioengineering. 2007.


Camel erythrocytes are oval in shape and without nucleus. No intracellular organelles were observed with the occasional exception of a small number of mitochondria . are well-adapted to hot arid environment and .The red blood cells of the dromedary camel protect it from dehydration because the oval-shaped cells can circulate even in thick blood and can significantly expand during re hydration

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology. Please take the Tour and read about how to answer questions. The poster asked a question because he had found a disagreement or inconsistency in different accounts of camel red cells. To resolve this conflict it is not enough to state what you think the correct situation is, but to cite authoratitive evidence for your point of view. You may well be right, but how can the poster or anyone else (including me) tell? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Sep 22 '19 at 17:36

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