Observations upon Spermatozoa of Amphiuma tridactylum

Christopher Johnston
1876 The Monthly Microscopical Journal  
Tuken as read before the ROYAL MICROSCOPICAL SOCIETY.) PLATE CXLV. TOWARDS the end of April in this year we received through the kindness of Professor J. W. Mallet, of the University of Virginia, two very fine Amphiumas from New Orleans. The larger one, measuring 3 feet in length, died on the journey; but the other, 30 inches long, survived, and on the 29th of April was made to exhibit the superb circulation of his giant blood-disks through the mesenteric vessels. The next day the animal was
more » ... nd, upon dissection, to be a male ; whereupon his organs were searched, and quantities of living moving spermatozoids met with. At first the size astonished us, notwithstanding our acquaintance with the average largeness of the histological elements of this other " friend of the physiologist ; " then the general movements absorbed our interest ; and lastly, the filmy modulations of a delicate appendage of the " body " fixed our attention. Masses of the elements resembled bundles of needles ; but when separated, spontaneously or by art, they all glided along, either with an eel-like, coarse, flexuous motion, or with a gentle, arrowy progress. From the lower part of the efferent ducts the filaments obtained were completely rounded ; but the spermatozoids met with at higher points did not completely unfold, for the " tail " EXPLANATION OF PLATE CXLV. 1 to 4, dry preparations.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2818.1876.tb05611.x fatcat:ibmu3xm5yfg6bby5ygtswawpxq