Somitogenesis in amphibia. IV. The dynamics of tail development

J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1983 Aug;76:157-76.


Following neurulation, the frog segments c.40 somites and concurrently undergoes a striking elongation along the anteroposterior axis. This elongation (excluding the head) is largely the result of a presegmental extension of posterior tissue with a lesser contribution from the extension of segmented tissue. Presegmental extension is entirely the result of activity within a narrow zone of extension that occupies the central region in the tail bud. Within the zone of extension, a minimum of six prospective somites undergo an eight- to ten-fold extension along the axis. The zone passes posteriorly across the tissue of the tail tip. The anterior of the tail bud contains three extended prospective somites in the course of segmentation. The anterior boundary of the zone of extension coincides in space exactly with the anterior boundary of the zone of abnormal segmentation that results from temperature shock. This means that extension ceases immediately before the sudden tissue change associated with segmentation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biometry
  • Larva
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Morphogenesis
  • Ranidae
  • Tail / embryology*
  • Time Factors