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Animal Reproductive System
T
HE reproductive system is the only system in animals that is different between genders. Breeders and others in
the animal industry need a thorough understanding of the female and male reproductive tracts. Objective:
Explain the functions of the female reproductive tract and the male reproductive tract.
Key Terms:
accessory glands
cervix
clitoris
Cowper’s gland
ejaculation
fallopian tubes
infundibulum
ovary
oviducts
penis
prostate gland
scrotum
testicle
testosterone
urethra
uterus
vulva
E-unit: Animal Reproductive System Page 1 AgEdLibrary.com
Copyright © 2006 by CAERT, Inc. — Reproduction by subscription only. 070065Female Reproductive Tract The reproductive system of the female produces egg cells, is the site of fertilization, and develops the fetus. Its structures are significantly different from those of the male reproductive system.

The vulva is the external opening of the female reproductive and urinary tracts. Inside the vulva is the clitoris, which is the sensory organ of the female. Anterior to the vulva is the vagina. The act of copulation, or mating, occurs in the vagina. During natural mating, semen from the male is deposited in the vagina. The vagina is part of the birth canal. The fetus passes through the vagina during birth.

The cervix is a muscular structure between the vagina and the uterus. The annular rings and gel-like mucus substance seal the uterus during pregnancy to protect the developing fetus from infection. During birth, hormones cause the cervix to relax, allowing the young to pass through.

The uterus is the location where the embryo develops. The uterus is a Y-shaped structure with two uterine horns. The size of the uterine horns is dependent upon the typical number of offspring produced in one pregnancy. An animal such as the horse that usually has only one offspring per pregnancy has small uterine horns and a large uterine body. An animal such as the pig that has large litters has large uterine horns and a small uterine body. The oviducts, or fallopian tubes, are tubular structures that connect the ovaries and the uterus. The reproductive tract has two oviducts, one joining each ovary to a uterine horn. The union of the sperm and the egg cell occurs in one of the oviducts. The resulting zygote travels through the oviduct for implantation into the uterine wall. The infundibulum is the funnelE-unit: Animal Reproductive System Page 2 AgEdLibrary.com Copyright © 2006 by CAERT, Inc. — Reproduction by subscription only. 070065 Cervix

Rectum
Vagina
Vulva
Bladder
Ovaries
Oviduct
Uterine
horns
FIGURE 1. Cow reproductive system.shaped opening of the oviduct. As the ovary releases an egg cell, it is directed into the oviduct by the infundibulum.
The ovary is the structure that produces the egg cell. It is also responsible for the production of the hormone progesterone. Each female mammal has two ovaries. In some animals, like chickens, only one ovary functions. Each ovary contains a predetermined number of follicles E-unit: Animal Reproductive System Page 3 AgEdLibrary.com

Copyright © 2006 by CAERT, Inc. — Reproduction by subscription only. 070065 Rectum
Vagina
Vulva
Clitoris
Cervix
Ovaries Bladder
Infundibulum
Oviduct
Uterine horn
Uterine body
FIGURE 2. Sow reproductive system. (Courtesy, Gary Stegman, Crookston, MN) Ovary
Follicles
Magnum
Vagina
Cloaca
Rectum
Rudiment of oviduct
Intestine
Mature ovum
Infudibulum
Isthmus
Uterus (shell gland)
FIGURE 3. Hen reproductive system. (Courtesy, Gary Stegman, Crookston, MN)when the animal is born or hatched. For instance, a female chick normally has around 4,000 immature follicles, while a heifer has 75,000 immature follicles. Male Reproductive Tract

The reproductive system of the male produces and stores semen and deposits it into the female reproductive tract.
The penis is the organ that deposits semen, the fluid containing sperm cells, in the female reproductive...
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