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Meaning of branchial arch

bran'chial arch'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. one of a series of bony or cartilaginous arches on each side of the pharynx that support the gills of fishes and aquatic amphibians; gill bar.
  2. one of a series of archlike mesodermal thickenings of the body wall in the pharyngeal region of the embryo of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.