The development of the facial nerve in baboon embryos (Papio sp.)

Raymond F. Gasser, Andrew G Hendrickx

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10 Scopus citations


The arrangement of the facial nerve was studied in 21 baboon embroys and fetuses, 2.6–36.0 mm crown‐rump length, (25–54 days fertilization age) and one adult. The head and neck regions of eight specimens were reconstructed graphically or with wax. The extramedullary part of the right nerve was traced microscopically and its configuration mapped. In early embryos (11–36 somites, 2.6–6.0 mm) the facial part of the facioacoustic primordium is either in close proximity or contacts the second arch epibrachial placode. It becomes a separate nerve (6.9–16.5 mm embryos) as the geniculate ganglion forms and the placode disappears. The first branches are the chorda tympani and greater petrosal. The pars intermedia and chorda tympani are large at 9 mm and the parent nerve terminates distally as a loose network of intermingling fibers. In 14.8–16.3 mm embryos connections are established with the deep petrosal and maxillary, and the tympanic, vagus and lingual nerves. Peripheral branches course into the occipital, cervical and mandibular regions. Between 18.3 and 36.0 mm the temporofacial and cervicofacial rami become evident and peripheral branches also extend into temporal, zygomatic and buccal regions. Communications are formed with branches of the auriculotemporal, zygomatic, infraorbital, buccal, mental, transverse cervical and great auricular nerves. Branches to the temporal and zygomatic areas lag in development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-217
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1967
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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