Spermatozoa of the hagfishes Eptatretus burgeri and Eptatretus stouti, caught in the sea near Japan and North America, respectively, were found to undergo the acrosome reaction, which resulted in the formation of an acrosomal process with a filamentous core. The acrosomal region of spermatozoa of E. stouti exhibited immunofluorescent labeling using an actin antibody. The midpiece also labeled with the antibody. The acrosomal region showed a similar labeling pattern when sperm were probed with tetramethylrhodamine isothyocyanate (TRITC)-phalloidin; the midpiece did not label. Following induction of the acrosome reaction with the calcium (Ca2+) ionophore ionomycin, TRITC-phalloidin labeling was more intense in the acrosomal region, suggesting that the polymerization of actin occurs during formation of the acrosomal process, as seen in many invertebrates. The potential for sperm to undergo acrosomal exocytosis was already acquired by late spermatids. During acrosomal exocytosis, the outer acrosomal membrane and the overlying plasma membrane disappeared and were replaced by an array of vesicles; these resembled an early stage of the acrosome reaction in spermatozoa of higher vertebrates in which no formation of an acrosomal process occurs. It is phylogenetically interesting that such phenomena occur in spermatozoa of hagfish, a primitive vertebrate positioning between invertebrates and high vertebrates.