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The vertebrate head comprises characteristic combinations of the cranium, brain, cranial nerves and head muscles. However, there have long been arguments about the developmental and evolutionary origins and the possible segmental nature of the head muscles, particularly those anterior to the otic vesicle. In gnathostomes, the presence of pre-otic segments (trunk somite homologs) has been denied by anti-segmentalists, but championed by segmentalists, who have focused on marginally detectabledoi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-403612/v1 fatcat:pp4eghkntrghfnjossa75yumvu