A method for removal, fixation, microdissection, and drying of early rat otocyst for examination by the scanning electron microscope is elaborated. Tissues were dissected, fixed as for conventional transmission electron microscopy and dried by critical point evaporation using amylacetate as the transitional fluid and carbon dioxide as the pressure head. Otocysts were either dissected at the time of initial fixation, or subsequent to drying. The otocyst of the 12th postcoital day was used as a model system in this preliminary report. Critical point drying retained the overall configuration and the fine ultrastructural detail of the otocyst. The interior otocystic surface was visualized and cilia bearing cells of the luminal surface were identified. Most if not all of these cells had a conspicuous, but short kinocilium which terminated in an ovoid bulb. The scanning electron microscopic appearance was correlated to the transmission electron microscopic image seen in the second paper in this Supplement.