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This paper describes the development of early locomotor responses to mechanical stimulation in the Australian lungfish Neoceralodus and compares them with structural changes in the spinal cord. Initial movements occur spontaneously prior to innervation of myotomal muscles, and are therefore myogenic. After muscle innervation, embryos only move when stimulated; the first type of response to sharp touch is a unilateral flexion away from the stimulus, then at a later stage the contralateral response is followed by a homolateral flexure which, later still, passes into bursts of swimming. The initial contralateral response occurs when decussating interneurons are detectable but before spinal sensory innervation of the trunk; however, the trigeminal sensory pathway has been established by this time and probably mediates the first mechanoreceptive signals from trunk epidermis. Later, Rohon-Beard cells innervate the trunk skin, and then dorsal root neurons take over the major sensory role. The secondary homolateral response and bursts of swimming are paralleled by the development of several types of spinal interneurons and the ingrowth of Mauthner cell axons.