Recent molecular lineage analyses in mouse have demonstrated that the right ventricle is recruited from anterior mesoderm in later stages of cardiac development. This is in contrast to current views of development in the chicken heart, which suggest that the initial heart tube contains a subset of right ventricular precursors. We investigated the fate of the outflow tract myocardium using immunofluorescent staining of the myocardium, and lineage tracer, as well as cell death experiments. These analyses showed that the outflow tract is initially myocardial in its entirety, increasing in length up to HH24. The outflow tract myocardium, subsequently, shortens as a result of ventricularization, contributing to the trabeculated free wall, as well as the infundibulum, of the right ventricle. During this shortening, the overall length of the outflow tract is maintained because of the formation of a nonmyocardial portion between the distal myocardial border and the pericardial reflections. Cell death and transdifferentiation were found to play a more limited contribution to the initial shortening than is generally appreciated, if they play any part at all. Cell death, nonetheless, plays an important role in the disappearance of the myocardial collar that continues to invest the aorta and pulmonary trunk around HH30, and in the separation of the intrapericardial arterial vessels. Taken together, we show, as opposed to some current beliefs, the development of the arterial pole is similar in mammals and birds.