Sperm Atlas Index
Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) sperm. Credit: San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. All rights reserved.
The Sperm Atlas is a sperm morphology database created and maintained by the Reproductive Physiology Division of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. It highlights a portion of the sperm cells collected from animals at the San Diego Zoo and other organizations.
This access portal is maintained by the San Diego Zoo Global Library. The combined file is available for download below. Individual species records may be viewed online and downloaded as PDFs.
Download Complete Atlas
View Individual Records
Click a link under Common Name A-Z or Scientific Name A-Z. The PDF will open on a separate page. To view names by taxonomic category, select one of the tabs above.
History of the Sperm Atlas
In February of 2009, The Reproductive Physiology Division of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research took on their first High Tech High intern, Michelle Doyle, to create a database that would display the diversity of sperm morphology that exists in the animal kingdom. Using our historical slide inventory, which includes sperm morphology slides dating back to 1980, Michelle created a database that one day would be available to the public. We call this database the Sperm Atlas.
The project was taken over by a High Tech High North County intern, Michael Figlioli in 2010. Together they have created a database that highlights a small portion of the sperm cells that have been collected from the San Diego Zoo, as well as other organization’s animals over the 4 decades that the Reproductive Physiology Division has been in existence. Many of the cells pictured were representative samples taken from sperm that are now frozen and stored in the San Diego Zoo’s Frozen Zoo©.
This was a student project that came out of a realization that no other online, free access, animal sperm atlas existed thus far. The staff of the Reproductive Physiology Department felt they had a treasure they would like to share with other researchers, teachers, students and people excited by biology and the many wonders of nature.
We continue to make additions to this atlas as more samples are processed. The measurements are often averages from many measurements taken from several specimens.