GERARD PEAUCELLIER, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GERARD PEAUCELLIER, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sea urchin embryo development. Differential interference contrast light micrograph of a sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) embryo during the gastrula stage of development. Following fertilisation an embryo undergoes multiple rounds of mitotic cell division, each time doubling the number of cells. Eventually a blastula of hundreds of cells is produced, which then start to differentiate. During gastrulation the single-layered blastula is reorganised into a three-layered (trilaminar) structure known as the gastrula. These three germ layers are known as the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. Magnification: x305 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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