Thanks to a worrying decrease in male fertility, understanding how sperm 'work' is a matter both of interest and great importance. Sperm of all animals detect various environmental cues. The 'behavioural' and physiological responses of sperm must be specific, appropriate and correctly timed. Strangely, in a cell with few organelles and minimal cytoplasmic volume, internal Ca(2+) concentration, [Ca(2+)](i), regulates almost all these activities. How does such a simple cell achieve this - and is it as simple as it seems?