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The Evolution of Organ Systems$
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Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198566687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566687.001.0001

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Gametes (Spermatozoa)

Gametes (Spermatozoa)

Chapter:
(p.262) CHAPTER 14 Gametes (Spermatozoa)
Source:
The Evolution of Organ Systems
Author(s):

A. Schmidt-Rhaesa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566687.003.0014

Although spermatozoa have no organ system, they are the product of organ systems and are of enormous evolutionary importance. Spermatozoa typically possess an acrosome, a nucleus, mitochondria, and a cilium, but these compartments can vary considerably in their shape, arrangement, number, or by being absent. There is a general correlation between external fertilization and the so-called round-headed spermatozoon. In connection with the various modes of modified external and internal fertilization, spermatozoa change their shape to aciliary, filiform, spirally coiled, and others. An evolution from a round-headed to a derived spermatozoon is likely, but some exceptions are possible.

Keywords:   spermatozoon, external fertilization, internal fertilization, round-headed spermatozoon, derived spermatozoon

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