Contents of the scrotum: Epididymis, vas deferens, spermatic cord and cremaster muscle

len Alfred Ajibola - 14th December, 2022 @ 09:41 AM

Topics in Biology

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Academic Questions in Biology

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Male Reproductive System - Len Academy

From the above diagram, which of the organ below isn't a requirement for the male reproductive system?

  • A. Bladder

  • B. Ureter

  • C. Glans Penis

  • D. Testis

  • E. Bulbourethral Gland

  • F. Epididymis

A walnut shaped male accessory sex organ located between the bladder and penis is the _____.

  • A. Ductus Ejaculatorii

  • B. Bulbourethral Gland

  • C. Prostate Gland

  • D. Ductus Deferens

  • E. Seminal Vesicles

  • F. Epididymis

In a food chain, the primary consumers are classified under trophic level  _____.

  • A. Zero

  • B. One

  • C. Two

  • D. Three

  • E. Four

  • F. Five

Cold blooded animals are referred to as _____.

  • A. Homeotherms

  • B. Endotherms

  • C. Poilokitherms

  • D. Ectotherms

  • E. Thermotherms

  • F. None of the above

All reptiles are vertebrates.

  • A. True

  • B. False

_____ cells are responsible for the formation of osteoblasts.

  • A. Osteocytes
  • B. Chondrocytes
  • C. Chondroblasts
  • D. Osteoclasts
  • E. Osteoprogenitor cells
  • F. Osteoblastic

_____ is a bone that constitute the axial skeleton.

  • A. Clavicle
  • B. Scapula
  • C. Patella
  • D. Radius
  • E. Sternum
  • F. Femur

Which of the following is false concerning cartilages and bones?

  • A. Cartilage does not have a direct blood supply while bones have direct blood supply
  • B. The process of ossification replaces a cartilage to bone
  • C. The protein that makes up cartilage is called chondrin while that that makes up bone is called ossein
  • D. Cartilage grows from both ends while bones grow from one of its epiphysis
  • E. They both have living cells within them
  • F. Haversian system is absent in cartilage but present in bones

Contents of the scrotum:

Apart from the testicles, other male reproductive structures found in the scrotum include the epididymis, vas deferens, spermatic cord and cremaster muscle.

Please read an introduction to the scrotum and testicles here.


  • Epididymis

The epididymis is a comma-shaped, long, narrow and highly convoluted or coiled tubule. It has a length of 6 to 7 meters and can be seen on the superior, lateral and posterior sides of each testis. It is shown in the image below:


Epididymis - Len Academy

You can read on seminal vesicles and bulbourethral glands here.

The epididymis is a muscular tube that connects each testicle to the vas deferens via the ductuli efferentes testis. It is divided into 3 parts. These are:

  1. Head of the epididymis

  2. Body of the epididymis

  3. Tail of the epididymis


The head of the epididymis receives sperm cells from the ductuli efferentes testis. Its walls comprises of a thick epithelium and a few smooth muscle. Functionally, the head of the epididymis absorbs fluid from the spermatozoa (sperm cells), mildly concentrating them in the process.

The body of the epididymis is made up of an epithelium and smooth muscle with intermediate thickness. Its contractions propels the spermatozoa downwards.

The tail of the epidermis has the thinnest epithelium. In comparison to other parts of the epididymis, it has the greatest quantity of smooth muscle. Sperm cells are moved into the vas deferens from here.


The epididymis generally serves the following functions:

  1. It stores sperm for about 80 days, bringing them to maturity.

  2. It improves sperm motility by absorbing some of the fluids produced by the testicles during sperm formation.

  3. The epididymis protects the sperm cells.

  4. The epididymis leads into another tubule called the vas deferens. The smooth muscles surrounding the epididymis aid in propelling sperm into the vas deferens via their contractions.

You can read on the male external genitalia (penis) here.


  • Vas Deferens

The vas deferens is found both within and above the scrotum. It is a long muscular tube that begins at the tail of the epididymis and runs through the ejaculatory ducts.

The contraction of the smooth muscles of the vas deferens helps in propelling sperm during ejaculation. Also, as sperm move from the vas deferens into the urethra, secretions are added into it from the male accessory sex glands.

Please read on the male accessory sex organs here.

The vas deferens is also called the ductus deferens.

Vas deferens - Len Academy

The function of vas deferens is to move or transport sperm from the epididymis into the ejaculatory ducts during the process of ejaculation. Simply put, you can consider the vas deferens as the transport system responsible for sperm movement from the epididymis to the ejaculatory ducts.


  • Spermatic Cord

This is a cord-like structure formed by the vas deferens. It plays an important role in the supply of blood to the testes and vas deferens. It also aids the movement of sperm out of the epididymis into the ejaculatory ducts.

Below is an image showing the contents of the spermatic cord:
Testis - Len Academy

The spermatic cord contains a large amount of blood vessels and nerves. Functionally, these vessels supply blood to the testes, epididymis and cremaster muscles while its nerves assist in transferring information back and forth from the scrotum, testicles and the cremaster muscles respectively.

You can read on the red blood cells here.

Permanently swollen veins (called varicose veins) may be formed in the vessels of the spermatic cord, resulting to a condition termed varicocele. In most cases, varicocele is asymptomatic, although fertility issues may result seldomly in patients.


  • Cremaster Muscles

The cremaster muscle surrounds the testis and is found only in males. They help in the movement of the testicles towards the body and away from it. The goal of these movements is to achieve an ideal temperature for sperm formation.

Unlike other internal organs, recall that the testes aren't located inside the body. It sits comfortably inside the scrotum, with the latter located outside the body. The temperature of the testis inside the scrotum is crucial for sperm formation. In fact, it is the cremasater muscle the moves the scrotum towards or away from the body, depending on the external temperature.

Cremaster muscle - Len Academy

In comparison to the internal body temperature of 36.5oC, understand that both testes requires a slightly cooler temperature (around 34oC) for sperm formation.

In an environment with a cooler temperature, the cemaster muscle contracts, moving the testes towards the body. In this manner, the scrotal temperature is slightly raised against the environmental temperature. Conversely, when the environmental temperature is warmer, the cremaster muscle relaxes, thus pushing the testes away from the body.

Please read on homeostasis here.


The concept of the cremasteric reflex refers to an immediate action taken by the cremaster muscle whenever the inner thigh is stimulated. In this regard, the cremaster muscle automatically raises the testes towards the body. The inner thigh in the above instance refers to a region between the medial part of the hip and knee.

You can read on bones of the human skeleton here.

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Interestingly, a delicacy in Japan (called fugu) is made from pufferfish. This meal is very expensive, and must be prepared by trained and licensed chefs. An improper preparation of fugu may lead to the customer's death. Sadly, such deaths are recorded annually

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An artery is composed of three layers:

  • The outermost layer is termed tunica adventitia (or tunica external). It consist mainly of collagen fibres and connective tissues that anchors the arteries to other nearby tissues.

  • The middle layer is named tunica media. It is made up of smooth muscles and elastic fibres that supports the artery in conveying blood at high pressures.

  • The inner layer is called tunica intima (or tunica internal). It is lined by a smooth tissue called endothelium, and is made up of a fine network of connective tissues.

Please read on the layers of an artery here

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Also, a camel is able to survive in the desert because it has large feet to aid walking on sand without sinking. It also has long eyelashes to help protect it from the blowing sand and wind.

Plants are also able to live in different habitats because they have the required adaptive features towards that habitat. For instance:

  • Plants that live in/on water are termed hydrophytes.

  • Plants that live on land with moderate amount of water are termed mesophytes.

  • Plants that live on deserts or arid lands are termed xerophytes.

The point is:

All organisms have various features on them that enables them adapt in their habitat

For a thing to be considered living, it must possess all the basic characteristics of life. These include:

  1. Movement

  2. Respiration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Irritability or Sensitivity

  5. Growth

  6. Excretion

  7. Reproduction

  8. Death

  9. Adaptation

  10. Competition

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This is the concept of anaerobic respiration

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Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:

  • Terrestrial (Land)
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  • Arboreal (Treetops)

You can read on food chain here