Spratt, Nelson T., Jr. Department of Zoology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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A fluid-filled sac- or sausagelike, extraembryonic membrane lying between the outer chorion and the inner amnion and yolk sac of the embryos of reptiles, birds, and mammals. The allantois eventually fills up the space of the extraembryonic coelom in most of these animals. It is composed of an inner layer of endoderm cells, continuous with the endoderm of the embryonic gut, or digestive tract, and an outer layer of mesoderm, continuous with the splanchnic mesoderm of the embryo. It arises as an outpouching of the ventral floor of the hindgut and dilates like a filling balloon into a large allantoic sac which spreads throughout the extraembryonic coelom. The allantois remains connected to the hindgut by a narrower allantoic stalk which runs through the umbilical cord. See also: Amnion; Germ layers
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