Rat and chick studies show that the earliest motor rootlet axon bundles emerge from all levels of the neural tube between radial glial end feet which comprise the presumptive glia limitans. The loose arrangement of the end feet at the time of emergence facilitates this passage. The points of emergence are regularly spaced in relation to the long axis of the neural tube and are not defined by any cell contact with its surface. Each rootlet carries a covering of basal lamina from the neural tube surface, which forms a sleeve around it. It is only after bundles of ventral rootlet axons have emerged that cells associate with them, forming clusters on the rootlet surface at a distance peripheral to the CNS surface of both species. A tight collar of glial end feet develops around the axon bundle at the neural tube surface shortly after initial emergence. These arrangements are in sharp contrast to those seen in the sensory rootlets, where clusters of boundary cap cells prefigure the sensory entry zones at the attachments of the prospective dorsal spinal and cranial sensory rootlets. Boundary cap cells resemble cluster cells and a neural crest origin seems the most likely for them. The study clearly demonstrates that no features resembling boundary caps are found in relation to the developing motor exit points.