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Graafian follicle. Original illustration of a mammalian graafian follicle (upper left, B) in a cow ovary, drawn by its discoverer Regnier de Graaf. Several microscopic ova (eggs) develop within the ovary (upper left) during the menstrual cycle in female mammals. At ovulation a single mature follicle ruptures, releasing the mature ovum into the fallopian tube (in lower frame) where it may be fertilised. The ruptured follicle then becomes a hormone-producing body known as the corpus luteum. Originally published in De Organis Generationem Inservientibus (1672).
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