Sexual Reproduction in Animals

Summary

Reproduction
It is the biological process by which existing organisms give rise to their offspring. Reproduction is carried out by different living organisms to perpetuate their species. Reproduction can be of two types – Sexual mode and Asexual mode.




Reproduction in animals
Sexual mode of reproduction: It involves the union of two opposite sex cells by the process of fertilisation to give rise to zygote, the single cell. This type of reproduction involves two organisms, the male and the female. Reproductive organs in humans produce gametes - eggs (ova) and sperms. Egg (ovum) is the female gamete produced by female reproductive organ. Sperms are male gametes produced by male reproductive organ. A zygote is the future individual formed by the fusion of an egg and a sperm.

Reproductive organs

  • Male reproductive organs include a pair of testes, a pair of epididymis, two sperm ducts, a pair of seminal vesicles, urethra and a penis. Male reproductive glands include prostrate gland and Cowper’s gland.
  • The female reproductive organs consist of a pair of ovaries, two oviducts, also called fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina and vulva.

 


Sex cells
Sex cells are also called as gametes. Gametes are the reproductive cells produced by sex organs, the gonads of the body. Gametes are of opposite sex, male gamete and a female gamete.

  • Male gonads testes produce sperms, the male gametes. Sperms have a head, a middle piece and a tail. Sperms contain cell membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus.
  • Female gonads ovaries produce female gametes called ova or eggs. 

 
   



Ovulation

It refers to release of ovum from the ovary. Egg is released on 14th day of the female menstrual cycle.

Copulation
It is the act in which a male reproductive organ enters the female reproductive tract to discharge the male gametes.

Fertilisation
It is the fusion of male and female gametes to give rise to a single cell – zygote. Fertilisation can be external fertilisation or internal fertilisation.
 

  • Internal fertilisation takes place in the body of a female who delivers the baby on completion of the gestation period.
  • External fertilisation takes place in frog. During rainy season as female frog lays eggs entangled in jelly like substance on the surface of water. Immediately, male frog deposits sperms over the eggs. Sperms move with the help of their tail and randomly fertilise the eggs.
  • In-vitro fertilisation can be explained in case of test tube babies. Freshly ovulated eggs are collected from women who are incapable of bearing babies. These eggs are maintained under sterilized conditions and are fertilised with the semen collected from the husband of the woman. As the zygote is formed, it develops for seven days under controlled lab conditions. At this stage, embryo is transferred into the uterus of surrogate mother. Foetus develops in the mother’s womb and is delivered at the end of nine months.

     


Zygote
It is the super cell marks the beginning of a new individual.The zygote divides repeatedly to form a ball of cells making an embryo.



Embryo
It refers to the early stage of development in an animal. It gets embedded in the wall of uterus, part of the female reproductive system.The development of the embryo takes place in the mother’s uterine wall. All parts of the body start developing in an embryo which finally transforms itself into foetus.

Parturition
It is the process of delivering the baby by the mother at the end of gestation period.

Transmission of characters
Human beings carry 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell. Of these 23pairs, one pair is the sex chromosomal pair. Males possess XY chromosomes and females possess XX chromosomes.Gene is a structural and functional unit of heredity and variations. Gene is a DNA segment on the chromosome. Genes control the expression of characteristics.

  • The process of passing traits from parent to offspring is called heredity.
  • Sperms are the male gametes possessing a head, body and a tail. They either comprise X chromosome or Y chromosome.
  • The eggs are the female gametes produced by the ovary. They all comprise of X chromosome.
  • Sperms and eggs are haploid with one set of chromosomes. They fuse to form a diploid zygote in the process of fertilization. As sperms are from father and egg is from mother, the child receives genetic material from both the parents. The characters of parents are transmitted to the child.

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