Carapace Chronicles


The White Blood of the Turtle
July 23, 2010, 12:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello everyone! We have had a great week so far, I collected blood from turtle number 200 today. It’s been a good time, very long hikes and hot weather! I have found some better ways to get a turtle to say “AH!”. The CRESO kids have been so helpful, with taking oral swabs and also with helping me with lab work. My time spent analyzing blood samples has been lessened by all the kids and I have been able to spend more time analyzing my CBCs.

Speaking of CBCs, I thought I would give you guys a little idea about what cells I am looking for in the blood smear and what their function is in the blood.

First, the monocyte. Monocytes are the largest white blood cells in the blood. The cytoplasm of a monocyte stains dark blue-gray and the nucleus is pink. They are circulating macrophages and move to sights of infection to eat bacteria and fungi.

Second, the heterophil. Heterophils are pink cells that have a dark pink nucleus and a lighter pink cytoplasm. The nucleus is off-center and usually sits on the edge of the cell.   They are the first line of defense against bacterial infections.

Third, the eosinophil. Eosinophils are large round cells with spherical granules that are pink in color. They resemble heterophils but the cytoplasm is filled with granules. They function in fighting parasites and in allergic reactions.

Fourth, the basophil. Basophils are round cells that contain very dense, dark purple granules that often obscure the nucleus. They resemble azurophils, the fifth blood cell, however, the nucleus in azurophils is always present and there are few granules in cytoplasm.

A Basophil

**I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures, they were taken through my microscope!**

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