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Organ system development
Development of the cardiovascular system
Development of the ear
Development of the eye
Development of the face and palate
Pharyngeal arches, pouches, and clefts
Development of the digestive system and body cavities
Development of the gastrointestinal system
Development of the teeth
Development of the tongue
Development of the integumentary system
Development of the axial skeleton
Development of the limbs
Development of the muscular system
Development of the nervous system
Development of the renal system
Development of the reproductive system
Development of the respiratory system
The tongue is a muscular structure as well as a sensory organ that starts developing alongside the external face around week 4 of intrauterine life.
A fully developed tongue consists of two parts, the anterior two-thirds; and posterior one-third, which is called the root of the tongue; they are separated from each other by a shallow v-shaped groove, known as the terminal sulcus.
The two parts develop separately, which results in them having different nerve supplies.
Around week 4 of embryonic development, as a result of the folding of the embryo along the rostrocaudal axis and the lateral axis, the embryo takes on a more recognizably “human” form—but to be honest, it still looks more like a shrimp than a baby.
At the head end of this little shrimp-like creature, the neural tube expands greatly forming the primitive forebrain, which produces a bulge known as the frontal prominence.
Lateral to the neural tube is the paraxial mesoderm, which partially segments rostrally to form somitomeres and fully segments caudally to form somites, the first in the series being the occipital somites.
At this point, a small pit called the stomodeum forms between the frontal prominence and the developing cardiac bulge, and it will eventually become the oral cavity.
At the same time, six little bulges or thickenings of the mesoderm, sprout from the primitive pharynx to become the branchial, or pharyngeal, arches.
These arches are paired, symmetrical bumps that form on each side on the lateral aspect of the embryo, in a craniocaudal fashion, going from head to tail.
At the same time, neural crest cells from the midbrain and the first two rhombomeres migrate bilaterally to the region and infiltrate the mesoderm bumps where they support the development of embryonic connective tissue needed for craniofacial development, called ectomesenchyme.
The tongue develops from the first four pharyngeal arches at around week 4 of the intrauterine life. Pharyngeal arches are paired embryological and primitive structures, which give rise to different structures as the embryo develops.
The anterior two-thirds of the tongue develops from the tuberculum impar (a medial swelling from the first pharyngeal arch); and two lateral lingual swellings. Next, the median sulcus forms from the growth of the lateral lingual swellings, which merge along the midline over the tuberculum impar. The posterior one-third develops from the second pharyngeal arch, and the third and fourth pharyngeal arch. The muscles of the tongue develop from the myoblasts (embryologic precursors of muscles) that have originated from the occipital somites (blocks of mesodermal tissue that give rise to different structures, including muscles and bones)
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