The Y chromosome is another name for the male chromosome,
which gets its name because it is shaped like the letter “Y.”
Chromosome are structures made of protein that contain genes.
Genes are units of material contained in a person's cells that
contain coded instructions as for how certain bodily characteristics
(such as eye color) will develop. All of a person's genes come from
his/her parents. Compare the Y chromosome to the X chromosome,
which is another name for the female sex chromosome. The X
chromosome is much larger than the Y chromosome.
Y chromosomes are considered types of sex chromosomes because they help determine
the sex of humans and most other animals. If someone has an X and a Y chromosome,
the person will develop as a male.
If someone has two X chromosomes, the person will develop as a female. In males, the X
chromosome is inherited from the mother and the Y chromosome is inherited from the
father. In females, one X chromosome is inherited from the mother and one from the
Chromosome comes from the Greek word “chroma” meaning “color” and the Greek word
“soma” meaning “body.” Put the words together and you get “color body.”