• F. S. Billett
  • A. E. Wild


As far as mammalian development is concerned, the choice of student practical work that is not confined simply to examination of stained sections, is limited. This is because of the inherent difficulty of observing development of mammalian embryos within the female reproductive tract, and the restrictions on experimental work imposed by the Cruelty to Animals Act. However, we have outlined details of six practical exercises which, when considered as a whole, in our opinion give students the opportunity to acquire practical skills and at the same time gain an insight into the way mammals are adapted to intra-uterine development. Details relevant to the hormonal control of reproduction, the anatomy of the male and female reproductive systems, and the appearance of the male and female gametes, are included in the first three exercises. These are relatively simple and suitable for an introductory course The other three exercises require more expertise and an extended period of practical time. Apart from the need to have some microscopes fitted with phase contrast, the only sophisticated apparatus required is a fluorescence microscope. This is required for the detection of immunoglobulin in the rabbit foetal membranes as described on p. 227, and can be used to advantage when examing spermatozoa and early embryos. Fluorescence microscopes are now standard equipment in most University Biology Departments. Modern instruments have built-in filter systems making them easy for students, under supervision, to set up and use.


Zona Pellucida Endodermal Cell Foetal Membrane Animal Development Uterine Epithelium 
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Copyright information

© F. S. Billett and A. E. Wild 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. S. Billett
    • 1
  • A. E. Wild
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of SouthamptonUK

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