CENTRE JEAN PERRIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CENTRE JEAN PERRIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph of 2 human spermatozoa, showing the division of one spermatozoon into a head & tail section. The sperm's tail enables it to swim, an essential action in reaching the female ovum. The mature male sex cell (male gamete) is carried in the head, the top part of which is capped by the acrosome, which breaks down just before fertilisation, releasing enzymes which assist in the penetration of the follicle cells that surround the ovum. Only a single sperm succeeds in penetrating & fertilising the ovum; rapid changes in the wall of the ovum prevent further penetration. Magnification: x2,000 at 6x7cmsize.
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