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Abstract

Detailed descriptions are presented of morphogenetic and histogenetic events occurring in the membranous and bony labyrinths, sensory areas, acoustic ganglia, and acoustic centers of the hindbrain of the chick embryo, stages 11 to 45. Major morphogenetic changes occur between stage 11 and stage 30. During this period primordial ganglionic neuroblasts are segregated from the otic epithelium and differentiate into the bipolar neuroblasts of the vestibular and cochlear ganglia, neuroblasts of the alar plate in the acoustic region of the rhombencephalon differentiate, migrate, and are organized into acoustic nuclei, and the otic cup closes to form a vesicle which undergoes complicated structural changes to become a labyrinth. Morphological events in neural structures are closely followed by structural changes in the labyrinth. Minor morphological changes continue to occur through stage 44. The histogenetic period, stage 26 to 38, is the same for all parts of the acoustic apparatus. Minor histogenetic events occur up to hatching. In this period, differentiation of ganglionic and central neurones precedes differentiation of sensory cells.