branchial clefts

(redirected from Gill clefts)
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Related to Gill clefts: Gill arches

bran·chi·al 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 clefts; sometimes wrongly applied to the pharyngeal grooves of mammalian embryos, which are imperforate, rudimentary homologues of complete gill clefts.
Synonym(s): gill clefts

branchial clefts

the apertures in the walls of the PHARYNX of fish or young amphibia (four-seven pairs) which allow water entering by the mouth to pass out over the gills.

branchial, branchiogenic, branchiogenous

pertaining to, or resembling, gills of a fish or derivatives of homologous parts in higher forms.

branchial arches
paired arched columns that bear the gills in lower aquatic vertebrates and which, in embryos of higher vertebrates, become modified into structures of the face, mandible, ear and neck.
branchial clefts
the clefts between the branchial arches of the embryo, formed by rupture of the membrane separating corresponding entodermal pouch and ectodermal groove.
branchial cyst
a cyst formed deep within the neck from an incompletely closed branchial cleft, usually located between the second and third branchial arches. The branchial arches develop during early embryonic life and are separated by four clefts. As the fetus develops, these arches grow to form structures within the head and neck. Two of the arches grow together and enclose the cervical sinus, a cavity in the neck. A branchial cyst may develop within the cervical sinus. Called also branchiogenic or branchiogenous cyst. Seen rarely in dogs as a slowly developing swelling in the pharyngeal area, filled with saliva.
branchial groove
an external furrow lined with ectoderm, occurring in the embryo between two branchial arches.