Very little is known about the structure and development of the ciliary processes in the mouse eye. Our scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies reveal that, unlike other mammals, the ciliary processes form an irregular pattern, crossing over and interweaving rather than lying parallel to one another. Histological and SEM studies from embryonic day (E) 14.5 to postnatal day (P) 7 reveal that the first morphological sign of the ciliary zone is an annular bulge; this is then gradually molded to form discrete ciliary processes. The striking similarity between the developing capillary network and the adult ciliary folds suggests that the patterning template for the ciliary processes could be the underlying capillary network. Cell proliferation measurements and cell height assessments indicated that one of the first events occurring during the morphogenesis of ciliary processes is a proliferative surge around P0 in the outer ciliary epithelium. It is likely that this surge together with increasing cell heights leads to a bulging of this layer. After a slight delay, the inner ciliary epithelium responds by proliferating and extending inward toward the lens. Final shaping of the ciliary processes is achieved through cell height reductions in the inner ciliary epithelium. Thus, in the mouse, the temporal correlation between mitotic and cell height changes during ciliary body morphogenesis suggests that these processes play an integral role in the shaping of ciliary processes.