Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate body's principal means of delivering oxygen to the body tissues via the blood. They take up oxygen in the lungs or gills and release it while squeezing through the body's capillaries. The cells are filled with hemoglobin, a biomolecule that can bind to oxygen. The blood's red color is due to the color of oxygen-rich hemoglobin. In humans, red blood cells develop in the bone marrow and live for about 120 days; they take the form of flexible biconcave disks that lack a cell nucleus and organelles and they cannot synthesize protein.
Red blood cells are also known as RBCs, red blood corpuscles (an archaic term), haematids or erythrocytes (from Greek erythros for "red" and kytos for "hollow", with cyte translated as "cell" in modern usage). The capitalized term Red Blood Cells is the proper name in the US for erythrocytes in storage solution used in transfusion medicine.
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