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Sperm fertilising egg

Sperm fertilising egg

P648/0079

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Credit

MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fertilisation. Computer artwork of human sperm approaching an egg (ovum), one sperm penetrating it, during the process of fertilisation. Each sperm has an oval head, and a hair-like tail which beats with a whiplash motion to swim. The human female usually produces a single large egg from the ovary while the male releases some 300 million much smaller sperm. The sperm travel through the uterus (womb) and up the fallopian tubes to reach the egg. The sperm must penetrate a thick layer around the egg; this penetration is aided by enzymes contained in the sperm's head. Only one sperm can fuse with the egg nucleus. Fertilisation enables male and female genes to be shared.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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