64 - L. Reproductive Mechanisms The reproductive organs...

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L. Reproductive Mechanisms The reproductive organs have a primary function in producing gametes and the arrays of hormones that support reproductive function. In males, the tract is specialized for the delivery of gametes to enable fertilization. In females, the major roles include the production of gametes and hormones and in providing an environment for fertilization and then the development of the conceptus to a suitable degree of maturity before its birth. The female mammal subsequently provides for most of the early postnatal needs of the young through the function of the mammary glands. Chapter 68 will provide an overview of some of the new technologies that have been developed as many aspects of the basic biology have been uncovered. Lactational biology will be dealt with in Chapters 72 to 76. 2007 version – page 500
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Chapter 64. Functional Anatomy o f the Rep roduc t ive T rac ts A. Anatomy of the female tract The female reproductive organs consist of a pair of ovaries , two oviducts , a uterus and cervix , vagina , and the vulva . There is variation among species in the anatomic organization of the oviducts and uterus. For example, the uterus may be extensively divided into two horns, or cornua , with a relatively small body, or fundus . The cornua may be greatly elongated in the case of litter-bearing animals, such as the pig. In the rabbit, the two cornua communicate with the vagina via two cervices, but most species have a single cervix. Figure 64-1. Female reproductive tract. A lateral view of the bovine reproductive tract, from the left side, shown in relation to the ilium (I) of the pelvis and the rectum (R). Note that the reproductive and urinary tracts come together . Part of the tract is sectioned medially and shows the partial separation of the uterine fundus, giving rise to the two cornua (horns). (Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
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The general organization of the female tract is depicted in Figure 64-1. The following description applies to mammals in general, but because of the between-species differences already noted, the details may not be correct for any given species. The tract is suspended from the dorsal wall of the caudopelvic region of the abdominal cavity on connective tissue ligaments. The cranial portions are covered by peritoneum, as are the other abdominal viscera, but the more distal parts lie outside the peritoneal cavity. With the exception of the ovaries, the reproductive organs are specialized structures derived from a hollow, smooth-muscle walled tube, communicating with the exterior. This takes the typical form noted earlier in Chapter 2 (Figure 2-16). The outer portion is smooth muscle that merges gradually into the superficial ligament. The ligament provides general support,
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2009 for the course ANSCI 1110 taught by Professor Brucecurrie during the Fall '08 term at Cornell.

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64 - L. Reproductive Mechanisms The reproductive organs...

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