Gill clefts --> branchial clefts
a bilateral series of slitlike openings into the pharynx through which water is drawn by aquatic animals; in the walls of the clefts are the vascular gill filaments that take up oxygen from the water passing through the cleft's; sometimes loosely applied to the branchial ectodermal grooves of mammalian embryos, which are imperforate, rudimentary homologues of complete gill clefts.
Synonym: gill clefts.
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... Recapitulates Phylogeny Developing vertebrate fetuses show pairs of gill arches. In lower vertebrates the arches have openings between them and ... the arches develop tissue between the bars forming gill pouches and clefts. These arches develop into other structures in the higher vertebrates, ...
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