Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Physiological changes that activate sperm after they have entered the female reproductive tract. These changes include a weakening of the acrosomal membranes surrounding a sperm, after which hydrolytic enzymes are released; these enzymes enable sperm to penetrate the protective coverings surrounding the oocyte. Capacitation requires from six to eight hours after entrance into the uterine tube for completion. Adjective: capacitated. Aka sperm capacitation.

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