Pharyngeal arch

Pharyngeal arch
Schematic of developing human fetus with first, second and third arches labelled
Carnegie stage10
Latinarcus pharyngei
TEarch_by_E5. E5.
Anatomical terminology
Floor of the pharynx of human embryo at about 26 days old
Scheme of the pharyngeal arches
Scheme of the pharyngeal arches

The pharyngeal arches, also known as visceral arches, are structures seen in the embryonic development of vertebrates that are recognisable precursors for many structures. In fish, the arches are known as the branchial arches, or gill arches.

In the human embryo, the arches are first seen during the fourth week of development. They appear as a series of outpouchings of mesoderm on both sides of the developing pharynx. The vasculature of the pharyngeal arches is known as the aortic arches.

In fish, the branchial arches support the gills.

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