STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sperm cell. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a sperm cell, or spermatozoon. This is the male sex cell. It is produced in the testes and is responsible for fertilisation of the female ovum (egg). A sperm cell consists of a round head that contains the genetic material, and a tail that beats to propel the sperm. When a man ejaculates he releases millions of sperm cells, which travel along the female reproductive tract, through the cervix to the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes, where one may fertilise an ovum. The tip of the head, the acrosome, contains enzymes that are released to help the sperm penetrate the egg. Magnification: x2100 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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