RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Thursday, March 27, 2008

article : Sexual Reproduction, Structure and System

As discussed in part one of this series about asexual reproduction, reproduction is a marvelous culmination of individual transcendence. Individual organisms come and go, but, to a certain extent, organisms "transcend" time through reproducing offspring. This week, we'll take a look at sexual reproduction.

Sexual Reproduction

In sexual reproduction, two individuals produce offspring that have genetic characteristics from both parents. Sexual reproduction introduces new gene combinations in a population.

Image credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


In animals, sexual reproduction encompasses the fusion of two distinct gametes to form a zygote. Gametes are produced by a type of cell division called meiosis. The gametes are haploid (containing only one set of chromosomes) while the zygote is diploid (containing two sets of chromosomes). In most cases, the male gamete, called the spermatozoan, is relatively motile and usually has a flagellum. On the other hand, the female gamete, called the ovum, is nonmotile and relatively large in comparison to the male gamete.

Human Ovum(Egg) and Sperm
Image credit: Copyright Dennis Kunkel

Types of Fertilization

There are two mechanisms by which fertilization can take place. The first is external (the eggs are fertilized outside of the body); the second is internal (the eggs are fertilized within the female reproductive tract).

Patterns and Cycles

Reproduction is not a continuous activity and is subject to certain patterns and cycles. Oftentimes these patterns and cycles may be linked to environmental conditions which allow organisms to reproduce effectively. For example, many animals have estrous cycles that occur during certain parts of the year so that offspring can typically be born under favorable conditions. Likewise, these cycles and patterns can be controlled by hormonal cues as well as other seasonal cues like rainfall. All of these cycles and patterns allow organisms to manage the relative expenditure of energy for reproduction and maximize the chances of survival for the resulting offspring.

Source :

No comments:

Search by Google

Custom Search

Search Engine Optimization - AddMe

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner