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The Zahn Drawings

A new developmental series for Xenopus, ‘the Zahn drawings’, and a complementary bright field photographs, have been published in Development by the team of Dany Adams, Mike Levin and the illustrator Natalya Zahn (  These drawings provide researchers with views of the tadpole stages during cranial development, NF stage 22- 50, and include the standard lateral view, but also anterior, dorsal and ventral views - perspectives not always included in the classic Nieuwkoop and Faber series. All images are open access and can be downloaded from Xenbase.  A complimentary set of simple line drawings are also availabe, and these can be used in the laboratory setting to illustrate gene expression domains, phenotypes, and other changing patterns during normal and abnormal development.

The Zahn drawings are available at and will be hosted permanently on Xenbase as part of XenHead, an atlas comprising bright-field images, physiology, and other types of data of interest to those studying craniofacial development.  Additional illustrations by Zahn, including simple line drawings useful for illustrating expression patterns.


Click here to view article on Xenbase.

Click here to view article at Development.

Click here to view article on Pubmed.


Download Zahn drawings NF stage 22-50 - anterior and dorsal views - zip.

Download Zahn photographs, line drawings, and drawings NF stage 22-50 - photographs, line images, full drawings - pdf.

Download captions for Zahn photographs, line drawings, and drawings NF stage 22-50 - captions - docx.

Download Zahn line drawings NF stage 22-50 - flat line images - zip.


These illustrations were originally published as part of an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution: Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial copy, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed: Zahn, N., Levin, M. and Adams, D. S. (2017). The Zahn drawings: new illustrations of Xenopus embryo and tadpole stages for studies of craniofacial development. Development 144(15), 2708-2713. doi:10.1242/dev.151308


Last Updated: 2017-08-04

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