Carbohydrate-recognition domains of C-type (Ca2+-dependent) animal lectins serve as prototypes for an important family of protein modules. Only some domains in this family bind Ca2+ or sugars. A comparison of recent structures of C-type lectin-like domains reveals diversity in the modular fold, particularly in the region associated with Ca2+ and sugar binding. Some of this diversity reflects the changes that occur during normal physiological functioning of the domains. C-type lectin-like domains associate with each other through several different surfaces to form dimers and trimers, from which ligand-binding sites project in a variety of different orientations.