Most animal species undergo a layering of early tissues during embryonic development. These layers are called germ layers. Each layer develops into a specific set of tissues and organs. Animals develop either two or three embryonic germs layers (Figure 15.5). The animals that display radial symmetry develop two germ layers, an inner layer (endoderm) and an outer layer (ectoderm). These animals are called diploblasts. Animals with bilateral symmetry develop three germ layers: an inner layer (endoderm), an outer layer (ectoderm), and a middle layer (mesoderm). Animals with three germ layers are called triploblasts.
During embryogenesis, diploblasts develop two embryonic germ layers: an ectoderm and an endoderm. Triploblasts develop a third layer—the mesoderm—between the endoderm and ectoderm.