Platelet count and volume were measured in man (n = 51) and rat (n = 9). Bone marrow megakaryocyte nuclear and megakaryocyte planimetric areas were measured in man (n = 11) and rat (n = 9). Megakaryocyte cytoplasmic volumes were computed from the planimetric areas. Rat had a significantly higher (p less than 0.001) mean megakaryocyte cytoplasmic volume than man and a significantly wider range (p less than 0.01). Rat mean platelet volume was significantly lower (p less than 0.001) than man while the rat platelet count was significantly higher (p less than 0.001) than man. A computer simulation of the random binary sequential division of megakaryocyte cytoplasm was used to explain these observations. Transmission electron microscopy shows that the site of this binary sequential division is probably the pulmonary circulation. The number of circulating megakaryocytes ml-1 of blood which would maintain the observed platelet counts was computed. The ellipses of constant density associated with the bivariate Gaussian distribution of platelet count and mean volume were computed. Platelet volume distributions of 13 men within two standard deviations of the composite mean of platelet count and mean volume were used to construct the platelet volume distribution signature in normal man. A similar platelet volume distribution signature for rat was constructed. The two distributions were significantly different. Neither rat nor man had a log Gaussian platelet volume distribution, however the measured volume distributions tended towards a log Gaussian curve.