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Early Development: Three Germ Layers

Early Development: Three Germ Layers

Author: Aaron Mullally
Description:

This lesson will identify the three germ layers that form in an early embryo and the tissues and organs that develop from them.

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Tutorial
Terms to Know
Blastomere

After the morula forms, each new cell that divides is called a blastomere.

Cell Differentiation

The process of cells taking on specific forms and functions, also called specialization of cells.

Cleavage

A general term to describe the splitting or breaking apart of an object or molecule; in embryology this is when the zygote starts to divide into multiple cells.

Ectoderm

The outer germ layer that forms the nervous system, skin, melanocytes and lenses of the eyes.

Endoderm

The innermost germ layer that forms the digestive tract, respiratory tract, endocrine glands, auditory systems, and urinary bladder.

Germ Layers

The first three layers of tissue that develops in the embryo as it starts to form (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm).

Mesoderm

The middle germ layer that forms muscles (cardiac, smooth, skeletal), mesenchyme, blood vessels, and mesenteries.

Morphogenesis

When an organism develops a specific shape.