Changes in the morphology of the early optic cup were observed in embryos of two distantly-related vertebrate species, a teleost fish, northern pike (Esox lucius), and chicken (Gallus gallus). A similar morphological pattern was noted to appear in both species shortly after the involution of the optic vesicle and the formation of the inner retinal layer. At a gross level, three notches were observed in the retinal margin at approximately nasal, dorsal, and temporal positions, while in histological sections a sharp constriction was found in the thickness of the dorsal retinal layer. In both species, this dorsal constriction appeared to be continuous with the central or dorsal notch. The time of appearance and configuration of this morphological pattern is intriguingly similar to the specification and polarity of retinal positional markers, and suggest a segmentation hypothesis for the origin of retinal polarity.