What is the scientific name given
to red blood cells in humans? (A) Phagocytes, (B) hemocytes, (C)
lymphocytes, (D) erythrocytes, or (E) oocytes.
This question is asking us to
select the option that’s telling us the scientific name that we use for red blood
cells. This is where being familiar with
the different parts that make up scientific words really comes in handy. We can break the words in our
answer choices down into five different prefixes and just one suffix. The word part -cyte means cell,
which tells us that all of our choices actually name different types of cells.
Phago- is a word part that means
eating. And phagocytes are cells that are
able to surround and engulf particles or other cells. Hemo- is a word that means
pertaining to the blood. And hemocyte is a general term for
blood cells. It applies to more than one type of
cell in more than one type of organism. Lympho- is a word that means
pertaining to the lymphatic system. Lymphocytes are a type of immune
cell. Erythro- is a word part that means
red. So an erythrocyte would be a red
cell. That sounds right, but let’s keep
going. Oo- is a word part that means
egg. So oocytes are egg cells.
Let’s return to our answer
choices. Some of these are obviously
incorrect. And on first glance, you might be
tempted to choose hemocytes, especially if you remember that red blood cells contain
hemoglobin. But hemocyte is a general term for
all blood cells and actually usually refers to the blood of invertebrates, not
humans. Erythro- is a word part that means
red. So the correct scientific name
given to red blood cells is erythrocytes.