Transiting from embryo to fetus: the metamorphosis of the chordata

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Carolina Smok; Ignacio Roa; Ruth Prieto & Mariana Rojas


During the period of development known as prefetal, the embryo changes its ictiomorphic characteristics common to all vertebrates and gradually acquires the proper forms of the species it represents. During this period the face is formed, the pharyngeal arches (branchial) involute forming the neck, and the limbs appear. In addition, the physiological umbilical hernia is constituted, which consists of the presence of intestinal loops inside the umbilical cord. The nervous system originates the telencephalic vesicles, the diencephalon, mesencephalon, metencephalon, and myelencephalon. This period corresponds to a stage of maximum susceptibility to teratogens that can generate malformations in all animal species. The objective of this paper is to present the main events that took place during the preferential period, as well as a vision and opinion of the authors, proposing a new name for the stage: metamorphic period.

KEY WORDS: Embryo; Prefetal; Organogenesis.

How to cite this article

SMOK, C.; ROA, I.; PRIETO, R. & ROJAS, M. Transiting from embryo to fetus: the metamorphosis of the chordata. Int. J. Morphol., 36(2):709-715, 2018.