Gallery Contact Us. Sperm and Ova Spermatozoa and Oocytes Human Reproductive Cells Humans reproduce sexually, with both parents contributing half of the genetic makeup of their offspring via sex cells or gametes. Gametes produced by the male parent are called spermatozoa commonly called sperm cells , and female gametes are Oocytes commonly referred to as ova or eggs. As gametes are formed, the 46 chromosomes from each parent cell 23 pairs of chromosomes are divided through meiosis so that each gamete is haploid, having only 23 unpaired chromosomes. Spermatozoa, produced by males, contain a 23rd chromosome that is either an X chromosome female or the analogous Y chromosome male , making each sperm cell either female or male. Spermatozoa have a head that contains a nucleus, a mid piece that contains mitochondria, and a tail with its end piece. Female spermatozoa have larger heads than their male complements, and as a result, are slower swimmers. Spermatozoa "swim" via the rotational movement or flagellating of a tail, and move through chemotaxis into contact with the oocyte where one spermatozoan fertilizes the egg, thereby creating a zygote. Oocytes are also haploid, and since they are formed only by females, the 23rd chromosome can only be an X chromosome. Each oocyte is protected by several layers of granulosa cells called the corona radiata.
More on this topic for:
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Gametes are an organism's reproductive cells. They are also referred to as sex cells. Female gametes are called ova or egg cells, and male gametes are called sperm.
The bodies of most animals and plants contain body somatic cells, eg skin cells, nerve cells, liver cells etc and gametes sex cells. The body cells of most animals and plants each contain two sets of chromosomes in their nuclei. Every chromosome in one set has a matching partner in the other set that has the same length of DNA and the same genes. Cells that contain two sets of chromosomes are said to be diploid. In sexual reproduction new organisms are produced from the fusing of the nucleus of a male sex cell with the nucleus of a female sex cell. This is called fertilisation. Sex cells are also known as gametes.
Reproductive cells, sex cells, or gametes are unique cells different from the cells in the rest of the organisms somatic cells. Reproductive cells are found in the reproductive organs and there only two types: male and female reproductive cells. Gametes are also called haploid n cells because they have half the number of chromosomes versus somatic cells, called diploid, 2n. The male sex or reproductive cells are called sperm.