DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
False colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a field of human sperm, showing the division of the body of a single spermatozoon into a head & tail section. The tail of the sperm enables it to swim, an essential action in reaching & fertilising the female ovum. The mature male sex cell (the male gamete) is carried in the head, the top part of which is capped by the acrosome, which breaks down just before fertilisation, releasing a number of enzymes which assist in the penetration of the follicle cells that surround the female ovum. Magnification: X 214 at 35mm size. Original is bw print p624/026.
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