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A respiratory pigment is a molecule, such as hemoglobin in humans and other vertebrates, that increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. The four most common invertebrate respiratory pigments are hemoglobin, hemocyanin, hemerythrin and chlorocruorin. Hemoglobin is bright red when oxygenated, and dark red(purplish) when deoxygenated, oxygenated hemocyanin is blue in colour, deoxygenated it is almost colourless. Oxygenated chlorocruorin turns from green to red, whereas oxygenated hemerythrin is a violet to pink colour and colourless when deoxygenated. Any of various coloured conjugated proteins, such as hemoglobin, occur in living organisms and function in oxygen transfer in cellular respiration.
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