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OSCAR W. JOHNSON and IRVEN O. BUSS

Summary.

Testis tissues from thirty-five elephants collected in Uganda, East Africa, were studied. The histology of the elephant testis was found to correspond closely to generalized descriptions for other mammals. The morphology of each cell type is described and illustrated.

The cellular composition (in percentages) of each tissue sample was obtained by using the Chalkley technique. The relative abundance of intratesticular components in mature elephant testes are compared with like data for the human and rat.

Nine phases were developed to express various cell associations of both immature and mature seminiferous epithelium. Analyses revealed that older animals frequently possessed a quantity of immature tubules. This phenomenon may reflect pubertal effects and/or cyclic influences. The phase values of the elephant are compared with those of several other mammals.

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OSCAR W. JOHNSON and IRVEN O. BUSS

Summary.

Relatively slow testicular growth characterizes the first 6 years of life. Following this period, gonad development is rapid and by 9 to 11 years of age the testicular components reach adult percentages.

A division of the seminiferous epithelium into spermatogonia and Sertoli cells was found in a 1-year-old specimen. The interstitium, however, appears to remain undifferentiated until 2 years of age.

Curves depicting the history of each testicular cell type are shown. Cellular abundance stabilizes at adult levels by the time the testis reaches a weight of 700 g.

The pubertal period seems to involve approximately 4 years. The start of puberty is individually variable over an apparent range of 3 to 14 years of age. This broad pubertal span appears to be involved in variations of testis weights and testis- to body-weight ratios within the collection series.

The heaviest testis encountered in this study weighed approximately 2 kg. Based upon an earlier report, maximum testis weight in the African elephant probably approximates 4 kg. Comparative testis- to body-weight ratios for a variety of mammals indicate that elephant testes are small in relative terms.