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Related to branchial clefts: Pharyngeal cleft, Reichert's cartilage, branchial sinus, branchial fistula
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
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
branchial cleftsthe 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.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005