The eggs of many animal species contain a large store of yolk platelets, lipid droplets and glycogen granules; these are consumed during early embryogenesis. However, the mechanisms by which degradation of these stored materials occurs during early embryogenesis are not clearly understood. The mechanisms underlying yolk degradation in amphibian (newt) embryos were investigated. Electron microscopy using an anion marker, cationic ferritin, revealed that yolk platelets were degraded after fusion with late endosomes containing primary lysosomes. Electron microscopy and the results of experiments using a number of reagents with selective effects on intracellular transport suggested that yolk degradation activity in early amphibian embryos may be regulated at the point of fusion between late endosomes and yolk platelets.