In the development of the somite, signals from neighboring tissues have been suggested to play critical roles. We have found that when interaction between the ectoderm and the somite is blocked by inserting a piece of polyethylene terephatalate film between them in 2-day-chicken embryo, one of the derivatives of somite, the distal rib, did not form. We examined somite development after the operation, to know the correlation between somite development and distal rib formation. In the operated embryo, the dermomyotome was medio-laterally shorter than in the normal embryo, and Pax3 and Sim1 expressions that are seen in the lateral part of normal dermomyotomes were not found, suggesting that the lateral part of the dermomyotome was missing. Although the sclerotome appeared to be normal in its histology and Pax1 expression pattern in the operated embryo, we could not detect the expression of either Scleraxis nor gamma-FBP that are expressed in the cells around the boundaries between the adjacent dermomyotomes in normal embryos. Thus, under the influence of surface ectoderm, the lateral part of dermomyotome and/or the mesenchyme around rostral and caudal edges of dermomyotomes are suggested to play an important role in the distal rib development.