Development Animation - Face

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Quicktime version

Development of the Face


This animation shows a ventral view of development of the human face from approximately week 5 through to neonate.


The separate embryonic components that contribute to the face have been colour coded.

  • Frontonasal Prominence (white)
  • Frontonasal Prominence - Lateral nasal (purple)
  • Frontonasal Prominence - Medial nasal (green)
  • Pharyngeal Arch 1 - Maxillary prominence (yellow)
  • Pharyngeal Arch 1 - Mandibular prominence (orange)
  • Stomodeum (black)

The stomodeum is the primordial mouth region and a surface central depression lying between the forebrain bulge and the heart bulge. At the floor of the stomodeum indentation is the buccopharyngeal membrane (oral membrane).

Note the complex origin of the maxillary region (upper jaw) requiring the fusion of several embryonic elements, abnormalities of this process lead to cleft lip and cleft palate.