The arrangement of the trigeminal nerve or its primordium was studied in 27 baboon embryos and fetuses 2.5–63.0 mm (crown‐rump length), 24–64 days insemination age. The head region of seven representative specimens was reconstructed graphically or with wax. The entire extramedullary part of the nerve, including the related parasympathetic ganglia, was traced microscopically in serial sections stained with either hematoxylin and eosin or protargol‐S and eosin. The crest is first apparent in five somite embryos (24 days) and becomes more prominent and extends farther ventrally by eight somites (25 days). Lateral and ventral to the crest the ectoderm shows a slight, gradual thickening but not as a distinct placode. At 11–19 somites (25–27 days) the primordium is a column of cells that becomes loosely arranged as it terminates in the first arch. By 21–22 somites (28 days) the enlarged primordium has the three divisions with the mandibular being most prominent and closely applied to ectoderm near the first groove. Between 26 and 36 somites (29–30 days) the trigemial ganglion and motor root become apparent. The distal part of each division is eosinophilic and fibrous. Branches from each division begin to form as sprays of fibers by 6.9–9.0 mm (32–33 days) and the primordia of the four related parasympathetic ganglia become evident. Many of the definitive branches and their communications with other nerves are present at 11.6–16.5 mm (36–40 days). Most of the branches and many communications with the facial nerve are established by 18.3–36.0 mm (45–54 days). All of the named branches, including the meningeal branches, are present at 63 mm (64 days).
ASJC Scopus subject areas