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A segmented body plan is fundamental to all vertebrate species and this bestows both rigidity and flexibility on the body. Segmentation is initiated through the process of somitogenesis. This article aims to provide a broad and balanced cross-species overview of somitogenesis and to highlight the key molecular and cellular events involved in each stage of segmentation. We highlight where our understanding of this multifaceted process relies on strong experimental evidence as well as those aspects where our understanding still relies largely on models.