The structure of the embryonic external gill filaments of the Velvet belly shark Etmopterus spinax



The purely embryonic external gill filaments of sharks consist of a single capillary loop, covered by a two-layered epithelium with short microvilli. Towards the end of the embryonic period, the epithelial cells are filled with fibrils, about 10 nm in diameter, and mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi bodies disappear. The basal lamina increases in thickness, and collagen fibrils accumulate beneath. Numerous dense vesicles appear in the endothelial cells.