Light- and electron-microscopic studies were performed on those tissues that are supposed to deliver the anlagen of the extrinsic ocular muscles. Since the blastemata of the ocular muscles can be traced back into the prechordal mesoderm, it can be concluded that this tissue is the source of these muscles. In embryos from stage 8-10 according to Hamburger and Hamilton (HH) cells are found to detach from the lateral border of the prechordal mesoderm. These cells are assumed to give rise to the trochlearis and abducens musculature. In stage-14 embryos the paired premandibular cavity arises within the lateral wings of the prechordal mesenchyme. In 4-day embryos the lateral wall of each premandibular cavity becomes denser forming a premuscular mass, which is subdivided into the anlagen of the oculomotorius muscles in 5-day embryos. The head cavities are not homologous to somites because their structures, origins and sites are very different.