A light microscopical study of the morphogenesis of the gut in the rat embryo was undertaken to provide a careful map of temporal changes in the topographical relations of the (definitive) endoderm, the notochord and the hypoblast (primary endoderm). The borderline between the (definitive) endoderm and the hypoblast that appears upon gastrulation defines the lateral extension of the future gut epithelium. Within this initially semiglobular disk, the foregut and hindgut originate sequentially as blind, rapidly growing pouches. Upon the turning of the embryo, the hardly growing peripheral part of the disk becomes located in the vitelline duct. Within the head process, endodermal and notochordal cells could not be separately identified. However, slightly more posteriorly notochordal cells are seen to become embedded into the endoderm of the foregut during gastrulation. This process is not seen over the hindgut and may explain why the detachment of the notochord from the (fore)gut begins caudally.