Left: Blastulation Right: Gastrulation
After cleavage, the dividing cells, or morula, becomes a hollow ball, or blastula, which develops a hole or pore at one end. If in the blastula the first pore (blastopore) becomes the mouth of the animal, it is a protostome; if the first pore becomes the anus then it is a deuterostome. The protostomes include most invertebrate animals, such as insects, worms and molluscs, while the deuterostomes include the vertebrates. In due course, the blastula changes into a more differentiated structure called the gastrula.
The gastrula with its blastopore soon develops three distinct layers of cells (the germ layers) from which all the bodily organs and tissues then develop:
- The innermost layer, or endoderm, gives rise to the digestive organs, the gills, lungs or swim bladder if present, and kidneys or nephrites.
- The middle layer, or mesoderm, gives rise to the muscles, skeleton if any, and blood system.
- The outer layer of cells, or ectoderm, gives rise to the nervous system, including the brain, and skin or carapace and hair, bristles, or scales.