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Colors for alien blood?

  1. Jul 27, 2016 #1
    I have an alien in one of my stories that bleeds. I want to use science to determine what the range of possible colors would be. It's an oxygen breathing alien, so it's blood has to be efficient at transporting it. I know our blood is red because we use iron to do that. I don't know enough about the chemistry of how oxygenation works to come up with any guesses for anything else.

    First off: What other atoms or molecules can bind so easily with oxygen? I know copper reacts with oxygen to turn green, how easy is that process compared to iron?
     
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  3. Jul 27, 2016 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Why do you suppose the same chemical that carries oxygen has to be the one that causes the color?
     
  4. Jul 28, 2016 #3
    One obvious reason: hemoglobin does both. Another: a chemical that carries oxygen is needed in large amounts. If it has colour, it would prevail over other coloured compounds in blood.
     
  5. Jul 28, 2016 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    Here's a handy guide for different blood colours that occur in nature:

    The-Chemistry-of-Blood-Colours-v2.png
     
  6. Jul 28, 2016 #5

    Bandersnatch

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  7. Jul 28, 2016 #6
    I had no idea that Earth life had that kind of diversity in their blood. I thought most blood was mostly clear. I'm going to have to look through them and see what's most efficient. This creature is highly intelligent, and therefore has a huge energy requirements.
     
  8. Jul 28, 2016 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    But it doesn't have to be colored. Fluosol, for example, is kind of milky, and works just fine as blood. Mix that with something orange, and presto! Orange blood. Or chartreuse. Or mauve. Or...
     
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