What is a gamete?Happens during sexual intercourse

3 Answers | Add Yours

Top Answer

bandmanjoe's profile pic

bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

A gamete is another name for a sex cell.  Sex cells are sperm for men, eggs, or ova, for women.  Gametes are produced by a process known as meiosis, which causes the number of available chromosomes to be halved.  This halving of the number of chromosomes is referred to as a haploid number of chromosomes.  For humans, the full count in a body cell is 46 chromosomes, so half that number for a gamete is 23.  The halving of the number of chromosomes is very important, because when an egg is fertilized by a sperm, you have 23 + 23 which will equal 46 chromosomes.  This fertilized egg, now called a zygote, will start a process of cell division that will result in a brand new human being, with each of his/her cells having 46 chromosomes.  Gametes are produced by organs of the reproductive system, the testes in the male, and the ovaries in the female.  Males will produce millions of sperm each and every day, while females are born with all their eggs already produced in their ovaries.  Each month, the female releases one of the eggs, in hopes a fertilization will occur.


Top Answer

john123987's profile pic

john123987 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Very good answer... I would like to add something: Gametes are involved in sexual reproduction (only) and are the reason we as human show variation and are all different from one another. Due to the existence of two parents and the halving of the number of chromosomes ,as previously stated, new individuals are introduced who show features of both parents. If we were produced asexually, we would basically be a clone of the one parent involved in the reproduction.

We’ve answered 317,788 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question