EDELMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. EDELMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
The human embryo after about 5-6 weeks, visible through a window into the amniotic sac (the amnion is the inner of the 2 membranes which surround the embryo & is fluid-filled, offering protection against shocks, noise, & bacteria:- the outer membrane visible is the chorion, from which the placenta, the interface between the embryo & its mother's circulation, is derived). The embryo appears inverted, with the retina of the eye (dark spot) visible on a large head - the brain is undergoing rapid divisions at this time. The dark mass in the body cavity is the liver, greatly enlarged to manufacture red blood cells prior to the bone marrow taking over this function.
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