MadSci Network: Development

Re: at any time during foetus development does the foetus have gills ?

Date: Tue Nov 30 10:28:16 1999
Posted By: Brian Turner, Grad student, Neuroscience/Cell Biology, Cornell University Medical College
Area of science: Development
ID: 943953319.Dv

Hello Jarrad,

Yes, we do form gills during foetal development.  A 6 week old human foetus 
will have these "primitive gills" but by seven weeks they have disappeared, 
so it all happens very early in development (since human development can be 
as long as 36 weeks).

The gills are called primitive gills because they do not actually develop to 
become real gills - they are always covered with skin.

I hope this helped.


ps, I too am from Perth, Western Australia, although I am now in New York 

references: A Guide to Vertebrate Development, 7th Ed. by Robert Rugh 
(Burgess Publishing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

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