Is the ovum the start of an individual's biological life cycle?


Is the ovum the start of an individual's biological life cycle?


Gametes are the reproductive cells of a human. In males, gametes are sperm, and in females they are eggs, also called ova (singular ovum). Eggs develop within females during fetal development, while sperm production in males begins during puberty.

Answer and Explanation:

The beginning of an individual's biological life cycle starts when a sperm fertilizes an egg to create a zygote. The ovum is not able to become a complete individual on its own, as it is a gamete with 23 chromosomes. This is only half the genetic information needed to create a human being. The sperm also has only 23 chromosomes. It is the process of fertilization that unites the two gametes in order to create an individual with a full set of 46 chromosomes. The zygote is the cell that undergoes cell division to eventually produce a new human being. The zygote becomes a ball of cells that implants into the uterus, where further development continues and it becomes an embryo. The embryo will develop into a fetus, and will enter the world as a newborn baby.

Learn more about this topic:

Gametes: Definition, Formation & Fusion

from Biology 102: Basic Genetics

Chapter 6 / Lesson 16

Related to this Question

Explore our homework questions and answers library