Vital dye staining and cell lineage tracers were used to mark superficial cells of early Ambystoma mexicanum gastrulae. Superficial marks placed between the equator and the blastopore, on the dorsal midline, stained notochord, whereas marks or injections made at similar animal-vegetal levels but 90 degrees to either side of the dorsal midline were later found in somitic mesoderm. Notochord marks remained on the dorsal surface of the archenteron throughout gastrulation, though they became elongate and narrow by the morphogenetic movements of extension and convergence. Marked somitic mesoderm disappeared from the superficial epithelial layer soon after passing over the blastoporal lip and could not be found on the archenteron surface. A possible mechanism for this de-epithelialization is proposed on the basis of correlated SEM. The significance of a method of gastrulation so distinctly different from that of certain other amphibians is discussed in terms of amphibian phylogeny.