This post is regarding the sexes that happens to sexually reproducing organisms. With the act of copulation, see Sexual intercourse. For other uses, see Sex (disambiguation).
The male gamete (sperm) fertilizing the female gamete (ovum)
Organisms of many species are specialized into male and female varieties, each termed as a sex. Sexual reproduction requires the combining and mixing of genetic traits: specialized cells known as gametes combine to form offspring that inherit traits from each parent. Gametes can be identical in form and function (often known as isogamy), playing with many cases an asymmetry has evolved such that two sex-specific sorts of gametes (heterogametes) exist (generally known as anisogamy). By definition, male gametes are small, motile, and optimized to handle their genetic information spanning a distance, while female gametes are large, non-motile and support the nutrients essential for the first growth of the young organism. Among humans and also other mammals, males typically carry XY chromosomes, whereas females typically carry XX chromosomes, that happen to be an integral part of the XY sex-determination system.
The gametes created by a living thing determine its sex: males produce male gametes (spermatozoa, or sperm, in animals; pollen in plants) while females produce female gametes (ova, or egg cells); individual organisms which produce both men and women gametes are termed hermaphroditic. Frequently, physical differences are for this different sexes associated with an organism; these sexual dimorphisms can reflect all the reproductive pressures the sexes experience.
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