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A complex layer of tissue consisting of the somatic layer of the mesoblast together with the epiblast, forming the body wall in craniate vertebrates and the amnion and chorion in amniotes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a part of the middle germ layer, or mesoderm, in the early stages of embryonic development in chordates (including man). The somatopleure consists of an external (parietal) layer of the lateral plate, or splanchnotome. The lining of the abdominal cavity and the skeleton of the extremities are formed from the somatopleure. In higher vertebrates (including man) the somatopleure also participates in the formation of the amnion and chorion, two embryonic membranes.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.