Histomorphological studies on the dynamics of intestinal epithelium in larvae, juveniles and adult stages of common wolffish Anarhichas lupus showed that the major structural development took place during the first 8 weeks after hatching (c. 320 day degrees). This development preceeded a period of increase in relative growth. The mucosa of the proximal and distal intestine gradually developed from simple primary mucosal folds into a complex structure of primary and secondary folds with regularly distributed crypts. Cell proliferation, based on the observations of the presence of immature cells, mitotic figures and proliferating cell nuclear antigen reacting cells, was limited to the crypts after 8 weeks of age. The observation of bands of epithelial cells showing apoptotic and necrotic changes, suggested the existence of extrusion zones, where effete cells were eliminated by both shedding and phagocytosis. In the proximal intestine of adult common wolffish, increasing amounts of lipids were observed from the upper part of the crypts to the surface epithelium, probably reflecting an increased maturation of epithelial cells.