False-colour SEM of a dying spermatozoon

False-colour SEM of a dying spermatozoon

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This image is part of the feature Motta: Reproduction

Credit: PROF. P. MOTTA/DEPT. OF ANATOMY/UNIVERSITY "LA SAPIENZA", ROME/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The death of a spermatozoon. False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a degenerating spermatozoon on the surface of the Fallopian tube (oviduct). After ejaculation spermatozoa may stay alive in the female reproductive tract for about 24 hours. At the beginning of their journey in the vagina the spermatozoa number about 300 million but only a few hundred survive and reach the ampullary region of the Fallopian tubes where fertilisation may occur. The image also shows the two different types of simple columnar cells which populate this area: ciliated (orange) and secretory (blue at bottom). Magnification: x3125 at 6x7cm size. Magnification: x4935 at 4x5 inch size.

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Keywords: anatomy, death, dies, epithelium, fallopian tube, false-coloured, human body, in fallopian tube, reproduction, reproductive system, simple columnar cell, sperm, sperm death, spermatozoa

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