A spermatozoon (/spərˌmætəˈz.ən, ˌspɜːrmətə-/;[1] also spelled spermatozoön; PL spermatozoa; from Ancient Greek σπέρμα (spérma) 'seed', and ζῷον (zôion) 'animal') is a motile sperm cell, or moving form of the haploid cell that is the male gamete. A spermatozoon joins an ovum to form a zygote. (A zygote is a single cell, with a complete set of chromosomes, that normally develops into an embryo.)

A sperm cell attempts to penetrate an ovum coat to fertilize it.
Diagram of a human spermatozoon
Anatomical terminology

Sperm cells contribute approximately half of the nuclear genetic information to the diploid offspring (excluding, in most cases, mitochondrial DNA). In mammals, the sex of the offspring is determined by the sperm cell: a spermatozoon bearing an X chromosome will lead to a female (XX) offspring, while one bearing a Y chromosome will lead to a male (XY) offspring. Sperm cells were first observed in Antonie van Leeuwenhoek's laboratory in 1677.[2]

Human sperm under microscope

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Spermatozoon, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.