Spermatogenesis is a series of processes that produce a prodigious number of spermatozoa from a rather small finite population of stem spermatogonia. In addition to this quantitative aspect of spermatogenesis, meiosis results in an equally enormous number of haploid spermatozoa carrying different recombinations of the male's genes that contribute to the genetic diversity of the next generation. Moreover, spermatozoa are produced continuously throughout the life of the adult male primate, a time span that encompasses a few years in some nonhuman primates but 50 or more years in man. The cytology of spermatogenesis has been described for several Catarrhini (16-22). Because the types and arrangements of the germ cells are similar in these species, a general description is presented. Any differences are noted where appropriate.
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