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Human Reproductive Anatomy and Gametogenesis

  • Page ID
    184689
  • The reproductive tissues of male and female humans develop similarly in utero until a low level of the hormone testosterone is released from male gonads. Testosterone causes the undeveloped tissues to differentiate into male sexual organs. When testosterone is absent, the tissues develop into female sexual tissues. Primitive gonads become testes or ovaries. Tissues that produce a penis in males produce a clitoris in females. The tissue that will become the scrotum in a male becomes the labia in a female; that is, they are homologous structures.
    Micrograph shows human sperm, which have an oval head about 3 microns across and a very long flagellum. Illustration shows that the head is surrounded by the acrosome. The part of the tail closest to the head, called the neck, is thicker than the rest.Human sperm, visualized using scanning electron microscopy, have a flagellum, neck, and head. (credit b: modification of work by Mariana Ruiz Villareal; scale-bar data from Matt Russell)

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