A layer of tissue in a vertebrate embryo comprising the ectoderm and the outer layer of mesoderm, and giving rise to the amnion, the chorion, and part of the body wall. Often contrasted with splanchnopleure.
- Outside the amniotic ectoderm is a thin layer of mesoderm, which is continuous with that of the somatopleure and is connected by the body-stalk with the mesodermal lining of the chorion.
- Simultaneously, rapid growth causes the embryo to fold laterally, resulting in the somatopleure layers folding in laterally to enclose the gut.
- The somatopleure, which is close to the ectoderm, is involved in the formation of the lateral and ventral walls of the embryo.
Late 19th century: from somato- 'of the body' + Greek pleura 'side'.
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