The ontogeny is the process by which an organism is able to develop its shape. It is one of the most important aspects of the biological development of a living being, together with cell growth and development and cell differentiation . It is a process that is responsible for organizing cells in their embryonic process , although it can also take place in adults cultivating new cells, for example, when a tumor is born . It extensively describes the way in which an organism develops, from the moment of fertilization of the zygotein sexual reproduction until it reaches its adult form.

What is ontogeny?

The ontogeny is the process by which an organism does reach its shape. It is the biological development of a living being in conjunction with its cellular development . It describes the way in which a living being develops from the moment the zygote is fertilized until it reaches adulthood.

We must remember that the concept is based mainly on the embryonic stage of both humans and animals. Thanks to ontogeny we are able to study the differences and similarities of DNA chains in different species and the modifications that it undergoes over time, it is useful to know the process of evolution in species, families and different genera , and allows us to advance in different areas, such as, for example, looking for answers and solutions to the different mutations that sometimes occur.

  • Etymology
  • What studies ontogeny
  • Human ontogeny
  • Animal ontogeny
  • Sleep ontogeny
  • Language ontogeny
  • Ontogeny of the nervous system


The word ontogeny can also be found as ontogenesis and refers to the process in which a being is produced or generated. The word is derived from a neologism dating back to the 19th century. This term is formed by roots of words of Greek origin and is formed by the prefix onto and the suffix genia , which written in Greek are represented as follows:  ὄντος whose pronunciation is ontos , and which has the meaning “to be, entity “. And the other Greek root is:  γένεια , which is pronounced géneia , and which means ” origin “.

What studies ontogeny

The ontogeny , from the standpoint of biological , is the creation and development that a person can have, mainly during step e mbrionaria of the fetus. It is thanks to it that human beings have the ability to develop, from the moment the ovum has been fertilized until it leads to aging. Also study the phases that are included within the same branch; the fertilization phase , in which the gametes unite, giving shape to the zygote; the activation phase, that involve a great series of events after the zygote has already been formed and that those that will give rise to the segmentation of the zygote; the e mbriogenesis phase , which refers to the process during which the zygote divides into parts until it reaches the fourth phase, known as organogenesis . Through it, we are able to understand how an organism develops and its changes in structure, observe how the different types of cells that exist in the human body are organized and the way in which the species continues.

Human ontogeny

It is responsible for studying the broad path that human beings travel to achieve physical fulfillment and the evolution of the species . It is the study of the development of the human being until his death, distinguishing three different periods: development , maturity of the individual and involution . It is important to study each of these periods, since there are different biological and environmental factors that can affect and intervene in the evolution of man’s existence. These growth processes happen continuously, going through a large number of phases.

Animal ontogeny

The ontogeny animals is based on the study of development morphological and functional animal species. Always based on embryos , he studies animals from birth until they reach a developed and adult state. As in humans, it studies the development since the ovum is fertilized.

Sleep ontogeny

The ontogeny of sleep explains the different stages of sleep in human beings . The stages of sleep begin to emerge in babies even before birth, during the sixth and seventh months, fetuses begin to experience REM sleep and it is closely linked with the development and maturity of the Central Nervous System . REM sleep in children is very active and has no relation to waking behavior.

Language ontogeny

The ontogeny of language is responsible for studying and describing the entire process of the child with respect to the development of language during its first stages of life. This type of development has a biological origin and is based on stages that overlap each other. It is also linked with the processes of learning that the child acquires at the time you start to interact with the environment.

Ontogeny of the nervous system

It studies the development of the nervous system of the embryo from the moment of fertilization . It specifically refers to three different layers that are formed during this process. Around the third week of gestation, three important layers are formed, the endoderm , mesoderm, and ectoderm . At the end of cell division, neurons emerge .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *