FGFRL1 (fibroblast growth factor receptor like 1) is the most recently discovered member of the FGFR family. It contains three extracellular Ig-like domains similar to the classical FGFRs, but it lacks the protein tyrosine kinase domain and instead contains a short intracellular tail with a peculiar histidine-rich motif. The gene for FGFRL1 is found in all metazoans from sea anemone to mammals. FGFRL1 binds to FGF ligands and heparin with high affinity. It exerts a negative effect on cell proliferation, but a positive effect on cell differentiation. Mice with a targeted deletion of the Fgfrl1 gene die perinatally due to alterations in their diaphragm. These mice also show bilateral kidney agenesis, suggesting an essential role for Fgfrl1 in kidney development. A human patient with a frameshift mutation exhibits craniosynostosis, arguing for an additional role of FGFRL1 during bone formation. FGFRL1 contributes to the complexity of the FGF signaling system.