Check us out at http://www.tutorvista.com//videos In simple terms, reproduction is the process by which organisms create descendants. This miracle is a characteristic that all living things have in common and sets them apart from nonliving things. But even though the reproductive system is essential to keeping a species alive, it is not essential to keeping an individual alive. In human reproduction, two kinds of sex cells or gametes are involved. Sperm, the male gamete, and an egg or ovum, the female gamete must meet in the female reproductive system to create a new individual. For reproduction to occur, both the female and male reproductive systems are essential. While both the female and male reproductive systems are involved with producing, nourishing and transporting either the egg or sperm, they are different in shape and structure. The male has reproductive organs, or genitals, that are both inside and outside the pelvis, while the female has reproductive organs entirely within the pelvis. The male reproductive system consists of the testes and a series of ducts and glands. Sperm are produced in the testes and are transported through the reproductive ducts. These ducts include the epididymis, ductus deferens, ejaculatory duct and urethra. The reproductive glands produce secretions that become part of semen, the fluid that is ejaculated from the urethra. These glands include the seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and bulbourethral glands. Testes The testes (singular, testis) are located in the scrotum (a sac of skin between the upper thighs). In the male fetus, the testes develop near the kidneys, then descend into the scrotum just before birth. Each testis is about 1 1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide. Testosterone is produced in the testes which stimulates the production of sperm as well as give secondary sex characteristics beginning at puberty. Scrotum The two testicles are each held in a fleshy sac called the scrotum. The major function of the scrotal sac is to keep the testes cooler than thirty-seven degrees Celsius (ninety-eight point six degrees Fahrenheit). The external appearance of the scrotum vaires at different times in the same individual depending upon temperature and the subsequent contraction or relaxation of two muscles. These two muscles contract involuntarily when it is cold to move the testes closer to the heat of the body in the pelvic region. This causes the scrotum to appear tightly wrinkled. On the contrary, they relax in warm temperatures causing the testes to lower and the scrotum to become flaccid. The temperature of the testes is maintained at about thirty-five degrees Celsius (ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit), which is below normal body temperature. Temperature has to be lower than normal in order for spermatogenis (sperm production) to take place.
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