Mammoth Memory

Cell division

Inside a living cell (plant and animal) is a nucleus which contains chromosomes.

Chromosomes are spread randomly inside the nucleus of a cell

There are 46 chromosomes in human body cells, spread out randomly within the nucleus.

Lined up in order of size, these chromosomes look like this although chromosome 46 changes depending on whether the cell is from a female or a male.

Chromosomes ordered but number 46 changes whether it is male or female

You will notice that every second chromosome is similar. The pairs carry the same type of genes along their length. Within each pair you inherit one chromosome from your mother and one from your father.

Each chromosome is paired one from mother and one from father


If this cell was from a male, 45 would be   Female X chromosome1_1.jpg    called X chromosome and 46 would be  Male Y chromosome1_1.jpgcalled a Y chromosome.

If this cell was from a female, 45 would be Female X chromosome1_1.jpg  called X chromosome and 46 would be   Female X chromosome1_1.jpg called X chromosome.

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