Male Reproduction


Key Terms

Asexual - reproduction of an organism without fusion of gametes by fission, budding or some other method not involving fertilisation of gametes.

Epididymis a tube that connects a testicle to a vas deferens in the male reproductive system. it is present in all male reptiles, birds and mammals.

Prostate Gland - gland around the male urethra below the urinary bladder that adds its secretions to seminal fluid during ***********. 

Spermatogenesis the production of sperm cells

Bulbus glandis an erectile tissue structure on the penis of candid mammals. This is not seen in any other animal that we know of. During ***********, the tissues swell up to tie the male's penis inside the female.

Sertoli Cells any of the elongated, striated cells of the seminiferous tubules of the testis, to which spermatids attach for nourishment during spermatogenesis. 

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Male Reproductive System Diagram

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Male Reproductive System Functions

Testes: Production of sperm and testosterone

Epididymis: a long, coiled tube on each testes surface. The mature sperm are passed to the epididymis to be stored.

Vas deferens: the tube leading out from the epididymis to transport sperm to the Urethra

Prostate GlandSurrounds the urethra and secretes a clear fluid which nourishes and protects the sperm by getting rid of bacteria before ***********.

Urethra: muscular tube from the bladder and prostate to the tip of the penis to transport both urine and semen out of the body.

Bulbus glandis (dogs): erectile tissues that swell up during mating and lock (tie) immediately after penetration.

Prepuce: the foreskin to protect the penis

Penis: to penetrate and allow *********** into the female vagina

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  • Sperm cells are made in the seminiferous tubule's walls
  • Scattered sertoli cells provide blood and nutrients to the immature sperm cells
  • Sertoli cells help move the young germ cells, as they grow, from the outer surface to the central channel of the tubule.
  • Immature cells are derived from stem cells, which multiply (Mitosis), half become sperm cells and half remain as stem cells
  • During meiosis, only half the chromosomes remain (haploid)
  • Maturing sperm change shape. Nuclear material in the head of the sperm covered by the acrosome (the cap) to help gain entry to the egg. The tail is to swim

Sperm is continually being produced. One immature germ cell takes 74 days to reach the final maturation

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How do we know which animal is male?

Things to consider:

  • Males chromosomes - mammal (XY), birds (ZZ), turtles and crocodiles are temperature sex-dependent
  • Penis - birds (mostly) don't have a penis and snakes have two
  • Hormones - but there are females that have higher testosterone than the average male

The 'male' in biology is often the animal that has the small, mobile gamete (sperm) and the 'female' has the larger gamete (ova)

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