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Erythropoiesis (from Greek 'erythro' meaning "red" and 'poiesis' meaning "to make") is the process which produces red blood cells (erythrocytes). It is stimulated by decreased O2 in circulation, which is detected by the kidneys, which then secrete the hormone erythropoietin. This hormone stimulates proliferation and differentiation of red cell precursors, which activates increased erythropoiesis in the hemopoietic tissues, ultimately producing red blood cells (erythrocytes). In postnatal birds and mammals (including humans), this usually occurs within the red bone marrow. In the early fetus, erythropoiesis takes place in the mesodermal cells of the yolk sac. By the third or fourth month, erythropoiesis moves to the liver. After seven months, erythropoiesis occurs in the bone marrow. Increased level of physical activity can cause an increase in erythropoiesis. However, in humans with certain diseases and in some animals, erythropoiesis also occurs outside the bone marrow, within the spleen or liver. This is termed extramedullary erythropoiesis.